Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, and the Golden State Warriors overcame Draymond Green’s first-half ejection to edge the Memphis Grizzlies 117-116 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 31 points off the bench, hitting 5 of 10 3-pointers. Stephen Curry added 24 points, Andrew Wiggins had 17 and Thompson finished with 15.
Green was ejected for a flagrant foul just before halftime.
Thompson missed both free throws with 6.7 seconds left, then Memphis won a jump ball before taking a timeout with 3.6 seconds remaining to set up the final play. The Grizzlies ran a play similar to Ja Morant’s last-second layup to win Game 5 in the first round, but Morant’s layup went over the rim.
Morant finished with 34 points and 10 assists, and Jaren Jackson Jr. matched his season high with six 3-pointers and had a career-high 33 points as Memphis’ first pair of teammates to score at least 30 in a playoff game. D’Anthony Melton added 14, and Brandon Clarke had 12.
The Grizzlies finished their first-round series by coming back from double-digit deficits in their final three wins — the first team in NBA history to do that more than once in a postseason, let alone a series. They came in leading the NBA in the fourth with an average of 33 points and outscoring opponents by 10.3 points a game.
This time, they could only match the Warriors point for point in the period.
Memphis edged the Warriors out for the No. 2 seed in the West by tying the franchise record with 56 wins, and the Grizzlies also took three of four in their season series. Thompson only played one and Green two of those games and Curry three.
This was a rematch with role reversals from the 2015 semifinal the Warriors won as the younger team with Memphis led by experienced vets. This also was just the first time the Warriors started a conference semifinal on the road and third playoff series Golden State didn’t start at home with Steve Kerr as coach.
Bucks beat Celtics
Giannis Antetokounmpo had his second career postseason triple-double, scoring 24 points with 13 rebounds and 12 assists on Sunday to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 101-89 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
Jrue Holiday had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, and Bobby Portis had 15 points and 11 boards to help the Bucks swipe the home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Boston.
After shutting down Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, Boston couldn’t stop Antetokounmpo — even with Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart shaking off a shoulder injury.
The two-time NBA MVP scored eight straight Milwaukee points at the end of the first half to take a double-digit lead into the break. Boston was within seven in the final minute of the third quarter before going without a bucket for more than four minutes while the Bucks scored 11 of the next 14 points to open a 17-point lead.
Boston won 26 of its last 32 games in the regular season and was the only team to sweep its first-round playoff series. Milwaukee advanced by beating the Bulls in five games.
Smart scurried off the floor with 1:12 left in the first half, in obvious pain with his right arm dangling limply beside him, after taking a swipe from Jevon Carter in the lane.
The team said during halftime that Smart had a shoulder “stinger” and a right quad bruise. He received a big cheer when he came out of the tunnel for the start of the second half, and finished with 10 points and six assists in 33 minutes.
Midway through the third quarter, Robert Williams III went down at midcourt after taking a hit to the groin. He went to the tunnel but returned after the timeout.