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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies competes for the loose ball against Stephen Curry #30, Donte DiVincenzo #0 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at Chase Center on January 25, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies continued their losing streak Wednesday night in particularly painful fashion. In this matchup with the middling-yet-somehow-still-terrifying Golden State Warriors, a young Grizz team, led by 29 points from Ja Morant, tried their best to stave off a number of Warrior runs throughout the game but ultimately came up short at the worst possible time. In the closing seconds, after a Morant dish to Brandon Clarke to tie the game, Donte DiVincenzo inbounded to Jordan Poole for a game-winning layup.

In the set play, which the Warriors call "circle," Klay Thompson and Anthony Lamb whip around in a circular motion towards the right while Draymond Green provides a screen. This draws the defense's attention away while DiVincenzo dishes it to Poole on the other side of the action, making for an easy layup before Memphis could figure out its coverage. The Athletic reported that Green called for the play just before inbound.

“I was trying to think of something that, No. 1, they hadn’t seen and, No. 2, could get us in space,” Green said. “In a situation like that, if you jumble everything up, they’re just going to grab a hold and no one is calling it at that point in the game.”

This was yet another Warriors win over their would-be rivals following a Christmas Day win and last year's conference semifinals, won by Golden State in six games. Although last night's win was missing Andrew Wiggins, Steph Curry lead the way with 34 points before ultimately getting ejected with about a minute left of game time. Curry threw his mouthguard in frustration after Jordan Poole took an ill-advised contested shot with 12 seconds on the play clock instead of passing. In the video, you can see Curry with his hands extended, clamoring for the ball while Poole that doesn't even look his way. But that's simply part of the Jordan Poole experience: you take the bad with the good.

As for Memphis, this is another bad loss that extends their losing streak to four straight, immediately following an 11-game win streak. It's been a West Coast road trip they'll be eager to be finished with, one which has featured close losses to the Lakers and Suns, and a classic load-management blowout at the hands of the Kings. The Memphis Commercial Appeal describes a dour atmosphere in the Grizzlies' locker room following the Golden State loss; Morant and Dillon Brooks both declined to speak to media after the game. As good as Morant was, particularly down the stretch, he was average at the free throw line, going 7-for-12. The final score may also cloud the fact that the Grizz went up by 10 points at multiple times in the second half, including with just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

I wouldn't worry too hard about the Grizzlies, though. These are ultimately the mannerisms of a super-young team, and if their long winning streak was unsustainable, so is this. What is a little concerning is whether they can consistently turn it on when needed, particularly against veteran teams that they'll have to solve if they want to make a deep run.

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