Grizzlies spoil Draymond Green’s return, trounce Warriors

Agence France-Presse
Grizzlies spoil Draymond Green�s return, trounce Warriors
Santi Aldama of the Memphis Grizzlies looks to pass against Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of their game at the FedExForum on January 15, 2024 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Justin Ford / Getty Images / AFP

LOS ANGELES – There was less to celebrate for Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green in his first game back since missing 16 games through suspension.

Green, who was given an indefinite ban by the NBA last month after striking Phoenix Suns player Jusuf Nurkic, played 23 minutes off the bench in the Warriors' 116-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday (Tuesday Manila time).

A close game was settled by a late fourth quarter rally by Memphis, who compiled a 10-1 run to open up a 12-point lead with four minutes remaining.

"Draymond played well, played hard — it's good to have him back," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss. "Obviously as a team we didn't play well, but Draymond competed and it's good to get him back in the fold."

In other games on Monday, Kyrie Irving scored 42 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. 41 as the Dallas Mavericks staged a fourth quarter rally to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 125-120.

Irving and Hardaway scored 20 points between them in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks fought back from a double-digit deficit late in the third to snatch victory.

Only one other Dallas player — Josh Green, with 13 points — cracked double figures.

Dallas coach Jason Kidd, meanwhile, singled out Hardaway for praise after the 31-year-old slipped seamlessly into the starting lineup due to Luka Doncic's absence through injury.

"He's the substitute teacher in the starting lineup and he's being a pro about it," Kidd said after the win.

"He's just a pro. This afternoon was a perfect example of that — he took his shots and was aggressive, and we need that no matter if he's starting or coming off the bench."

Zion Williamson led the Pels scoring with 30 points while C.J. McCollum added 23.

In Toronto, the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics rolled on with a 105-96 defeat of the Raptors, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday leading the scoring for the visitors with 22 points apiece.

The Celtics lead the Eastern standings with 31 wins against nine defeats, three games clear of the second-placed Milwaukee Bucks (28-12).

In Atlanta, Trae Young's 36 points helped the Hawks hold off the San Antonio Spurs for a 109-99 victory.

San Antonio's No.1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama produced another eye-catching performance in defeat for the Spurs, finishing with 26 points — 18 of them in the fourth quarter.

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