An award-winning shot from Karl-Anthony Towns had given Wolves 13 points with 9 minutes to play but Ja Morant’s 18 points in the final quarter including 11 in a row late in the game turned the tide. The Grizzlies point guard took advantage of Anthony Edwards’ risky defensive bet to dribble and take off to crucify Wolves with an acrobatic lay-up.
In the wake of the duo Desmond Bane – Jaren Jackson Jr, the Grizzlies start the match with a 13-2 but the Wolves respond with a 17-4 and a 7 of 11 from afar to take the lead at the end of the first quarter (31 -28). Nazr Reid attacks the circle and launches a 10-3 which gives Minnesota a 10-point lead in a dumbfounded FedEx Forum (41-31)! The defenses then harden, the percentages of success fall, and the losses of balls accumulate on both sides but Desmond Bane however brings back Memphis. It takes all the talent of Anthony Edwards to keep Wolves ahead at the break (55-53).
The poster of the year for Ja Morant!
As the use of video turns a forceful pass from Towns into a fourth foul for Jaren Jackson Jr, Wolves take the opportunity to move forward. The attack of the Grizzlies flounders and Minnesota grabs the lead little by little to bring the gap to +13 (85-72).
The end of this third quarter is still marked by Ja Morant’s poster of the year on Malik Beasley. This dunk has the merit of waking up a Morant then draft and with him his whole team. The Grizzlies pass a 10-0 to their opponent to return to -1 (99-98).
Despite two award-winning shots from Towns, Wolves thwarted and Morant scored nine straight to put Memphis at +3 with 8 seconds left (109-106). Anthony Edwards equalizes, however, but with 3 seconds to play, his interception attempt opens the basket for the Prince of Memphis who goes to score the layup for victory (101-99).
The Wolves can still bite their fingers but they will have the opportunity to equalize at home in two days!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– 25 balls lost at the break. While the first quarter had started on an offensive basis and exceptional addresses, the two teams entered the hard in the second period. The game got tougher and the defenses took over. As tradition dictates in this series, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaren Jackson Jr both had three fouls at the break, but it was Minnesota’s 14 stray balls and the Grizzlies’ 11 that symbolized all the intensity, but also the waste and tension, of this first half in a pivotal match for the outcome of this series.
– Karl-Anthony Towns – Jaren Jackson Jr, whose fault is it? Every two to three fouls to start the second half, Towns and Jackson Jr found themselves in the middle of the action that saw Wolves take the lead in the third quarter. The referees first whistled an offensive foul on the Minnesota star who entered his opponent’s shoulder first. To everyone’s surprise, Chris Finch’s challenge reversed the decision and it was Jackson Jr who received his fourth foul. After his exit, Towns will score 12 points in the quarter to put Wolves 13 points ahead.
– The decisive awakening of Ja Morant. So at 4 out of 12 on shots, with 5 stray bullets, but still 9 assists and 11 rebounds, and with his team at -13 at the end of the third quarter, Ja Morant decided to punch the table with a thunderous dunk on poor Malik Beasley. That spark has perked up the Grizzlies so far wide of the plate. Much more aggressive on both sides of the field, they limited Wolves to 8 of 24 on shots and dominated the rebound, thanks to 7 offensive catches from Brandon Clarke. History will however remember Ja Morant’s 18 points in the last quarter, including 11 in a row in the last three minutes to bring his team back together, put them in front, and give them victory with an acrobatic lay-up! Morant’s dunk was the turning point of the match and it could well become the turning point of the series.
✅Ja Morant. With 18 of his 30 points in the last quarter, the Grizzlies star woke up at the best time to allow his team to come back to once again beat Wolves at the post. The Most Improved Player 2022 also delivered 9 assists and took 13 rebounds!
✅ Desmond Bane. The fullback continues to be the most consistent Grizzly in this series with 25 points including 15 in the first half to keep his team in touch.
✅ Brandon Clarke. 21 points, 15 rebounds including 9 offensive! The former Gonzaga had an undeniable impact coming off the bench to support Morant when Memphis returned late in the game.
✅ Karl-Anthony Towns. Clever but again hampered by faults, Towns still scored 28 points including a 5 of 7 from 3-pointers which could have cracked Memphis without the Ja Morant festival. He also took 12 rebounds but lost 7 balls.
✅⛔ Anthony Edwards. The last 10 seconds summed up his game perfectly. He made a 3-pointer 3 seconds from the buzzer to equalize but looking for the interception on the next play, he opened the basket for Ja Morant rather than forcing him to take a shot from mid-range or 3-point. He finished the game with 22 points but in the playoffs, all the details matter.
⛔ Dillon Brooks. The winger finished 4 of 18 on shots but he scored a big award-winning shot in the final quarter.
Game 6 : Thursday night to Friday.