The uncommon Grizzlies teetered the Warriors without Morant, taking the first lead of the night with 45.7 seconds remaining to seal the win and advance 3-1 in a best of seven series.
Curry scored 18 points in the last quarter, tied the game at 90 with 3:25 remaining, and then scored eight consecutive free throws in the last minute, outperforming his team ahead.
“Nothing we came up with, it was just not letting the first three quarters affect the fact that we still had a chance to win the match,” Curry told reporters after the match. “Take the shots you think you can take, play hard, take care of the ball. We’ve done all these things.”
Golden State’s task was made more difficult by the absence of coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for Covid-19 two hours before his report and was unable to sit on the bench.
His place was taken by assistant coach Mike Brown, who took over the Sacramento Kings next season and previously led the Warriors to a record 11-0 during the 2017 title run when Kerr missed.
“His training record in the Warriors playoff game is undefeated, I think,” said Warriors goalkeeper Clay Thompson. “We missed Steve a lot, just his voice, his presence, but we were here before, 2017 when Mike took over and we had a lot of wins, so I thought about that a lot.”
Both teams missed opportunities to withdraw due to their poor shooting, with neither team shooting 42% from the ground or 26% from outside the arc.
The Warriors were 0-15 from deep until Otto Porter Jr. exhausted all three with 3:24 left in the second quarter. Thompson missed all of his seven three-point attempts but contributed 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Grizzlies’ defense—led by Garen Jackson Jr. who made five saves and stole two—stopped the Warriors’ attack, leaving them to hold just 38 points in the first half.
Jackson Jr. also led the Memphis center with 21 points in the absence of star goalkeeper Morant, who injured his right knee during Saturday’s third game loss. Teos Jones added 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.
“It’s a tough match,” Jones told post-match media. “It’s a hard pill to swallow. I felt like we were driving the whole game.” “I felt like we were in a good position. I felt we put ourselves in a good position to win a game of ball and it didn’t go our way.”
The fifth game is scheduled for Wednesday in Memphis.
Celtics level series vs bucks 2-2
In the Eastern Conference, Al Horford scored a top 30 post-season career as the Boston Celtics produced a devastating late scoring spell to lower the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108 and tie the best of seven series in two games apiece.
“I usually do my job,” Horford told the media after the match. “I’m really excited, but I think you kind of pick your places, your moments. This was an emotional game.”
Despite trailing 11 points in the middle of the third quarter, the Celtics rushed out a 10-0 lead to drag themselves back into the competition before outselling the Bucks 43-28 in the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee regained a 94-92 lead with 6:02 remaining, but the Celtics responded with a 14-2 score which put the game out of the Bucks’ hands.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the scoring for Milwaukee with 34 points in a losing attempt, along with 18 rebounds and five assists, while Brooke Lopez finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.
“The [Horford] “It was a great game,” said Milwaukee Junior Holiday, who scored 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. I think we went down and had some shots that we usually do, and we just couldn’t finish those shots. But give them credit. They put on more plays.”
The Celtics have a ground advantage in two of the next three games in their series. Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday at TD Garden in Boston.