SAN FRANCISCO - Bad blood between the Warriors and Grizzlies boiled over Sunday in a thrilling Christmas Day rematch of the Western Conference semifinals, with the defending champions beating the Grizzlies 123-109 on national television.
In a night filled with boisterous celebrations, Klay Thompson sent a message to the Grizzlies that the Warriors aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
After taunting Dillon Brooks in the fourth quarter, Thompson was called a technical foul — the Warriors' sixth of the game — when he hovered over the Grizzlies forward and gave him some "old-fashioned trash talk" while holding him on the court.
I don't think it's a technical sure, but I forgot the taunting rule," Thompson said after the win. "It's always fun to talk trash. We've been doing it since we were in middle school. That's when you play your best or You get frustrated — for me, it's usually the former.
Sunday was the latest chapter in the budding rivalry between these two Western Conference foes. The two met in the 2021 play-in tournament, Morant's squad Curry & Co. Who sent home The Warriors got their revenge in the Western Conference semifinals in the spring.
But less than a week after Morant told ESPN there was no one in the West he feared, the Warriors handed it to the Grizzlies.
"You can't talk about a dynasty when you haven't won before," Thompson said on the air in a postgame interview. “I don't think people realize how hard it is. Requires commitment and sacrifice.
Playing without four players, including two starters, the Warriors were powered by a 32-point game from Jordan Poole, who got his first career ejection in the fourth, as well as a 23-point performance by Thompson.
There were concerns about how the Warriors could replace Stephen Curry's offensive firepower and Andrew Wiggins' defensive prowess against the athletic and physical Grizzlies, who were playing Desmond Benn for his second straight game after missing 17 contests.
Toe But the Warriors, coming off back-to-back 30-plus-point losses, responded big with a win against one of the Western Conference's top teams.