Draymond Green booed in return from suspension as Golden State Warriors fall to shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies




CNN
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After missing over a month of action due to his latest suspension, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was booed in his return to the court as his team fell to a 116-107 defeat against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Green was suspended indefinitely after striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the face during a game on December 12, with the suspension being partly “attributed to Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts,” according to an NBA statement.

His suspension was lifted by the NBA earlier this month though Green spent time working on his conditioning and game fitness before returning on Monday.

Green came off the bench against the Grizzlies and received jeers from the Memphis crowd when he checked into the game in the first quarter.

However, despite the former defensive player of the year making his comeback, the Warriors suffered a tough defeat against a Grizzlies squad that has been ravaged by injuries.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 15: David Roddy #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson Jr. #13 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrate during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at FedExForum on January 15, 2024 in Memphis, Tennessee. 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 Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Memphis entered Monday night’s matchup missing seven players, including star point guard Ja Morant who recently went down with a season-ending shoulder injury, having only played nine games after returning from a 25-game suspension.

The Grizzlies got the most out of their players when it mattered the most though, outscoring Golden State by 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Memphis also made 20 triples to the Warriors’ 10 in the game and benefitted from a massive disparity in free throw shooting; Golden State – which was additionally plagued by turnovers throughout – made nine of its 10 free throws while the Grizzlies went 32-for-40 from the stripe.

“We played very poorly defensively, but a lot of that had to do with our offense,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “Nineteen turnovers that turned into 30 points.”

The Grizzlies were led in scoring by second year forward Vince Williams who had 24 points and seven rebounds. Rookie forward GG Jackson had 23 points and six rebounds off the bench, while reigning defensive player of the year Jaren Jackson Jr. had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists.

MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 15:  Jaren Jackson Jr. #13 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes to the basket during the game on January 15, 2024 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

“It’s just a product of our developmental culture,” said Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins. “We always talk about – it sounds cliché – ‘next man up’ mentality.

“I love the competitive fire from all these guys.”

Two-time MVP Steph Curry led the way for the Warriors with 26 points and eight assists with forwards Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins chipping in with 20 and 16 points respectively.

Green had seven points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal in his return.

It was another disappointing loss for the Warriors, who have had their rotation bolstered by Green but are without Chris Paul and Gary Payton II. The Dubs are now 18-22 after a lackluster first half of the season and sit 12th in the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies are one spot behind at 15-25 as they navigate life without Morant for the rest of the campaign.





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