Dillon Brooks calls NBA playoff series loss ‘motivation,’ says Grizzlies are ‘coming’ for Warriors in future

Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks has a plan for how to take down the Golden State Warriors next time they meet in a playoff series. ‘I think we’ll beat them,’ Brooks said on Wednesday night before his team’s 118-94 Game 3 loss to the Warriors, who now lead the best-of-seven Western Conference finals 2-1. The win gave Golden State its first ever three games sweep of Memphis…

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Memphis center Dillon Brooks stated the Grizzlies are hot on the trail of the Warriors after the Grizzlies were eliminated from the NBA playoffs with a 110-96 defeat to Golden State in Game 6 of their conference semifinals series on Friday.

Brooks said, “We’re young, and they’re going old.” “They are aware that we will return every year.”

Brooks, 26, is the oldest of the Grizzlies’ top eight scorers this season, when they won 56 games and finished second in the Western Conference.

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The Grizzlies started rebuilding in 2018 around a younger core after seven straight playoff appearances with their “Grit ‘n’ Grind” club throughout the 2010s. Memphis has added Ja Morant, Jarrett Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and Brandon Clarke to a roster that had includes Brooks during the last four drafts.

Morant, the Grizzlies’ standout third-year point guard, was lost after suffering a bone bruise in his right knee in Game 3 against the Warriors. The Grizzlies fought back heroically, leading the Warriors for the most of Game 4 at Chase Center before beating them in Game 5 at Memphis, where they led by as many as 55 points and won by 39.

When asked whether Morant’s presence may have influenced the results of Games 4 and 6, Brooks answered, “100%.” “Obviously, it would change because Ja is one of the finest point guards in the NBA — you guys know that — but we made do with what we had.”

On Friday, Memphis and Golden State were neck-and-neck until the last minutes of the game, when the Warriors’ late shooting burst propelled them to a 14-point win.

“Playing against two of the finest shooters in history is terrific motivation and good learning,” Brooks said. “It was thrilling to be pitted against them. It’s significant for us, and we’ll carry it with us throughout the summer, ready to repeat.”

Brooks became an instant nemesis in the Bay Area when he crushed an airborne Warriors player Gary Payton II on way to the basket in Game 2. On the play, Payton’s left elbow was shattered, and Brooks was ejected from the game, removed from the game, and suspended for Game 3 in San Francisco. When Brooks returned to play, the Chase Center crowd booed him every time he touched the ball.

Brooks and his Grizzlies teammates praised the triumphant Warriors after the final bell, despite the chippiness that lingered during Game 6 as Brooks and Warriors player Klay Thompson jawed at one other frequently. Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledged the Grizzlies’ youthful skill and ability to compete in the future seasons after the game.

Curry added, “I have a lot of respect for every single member on the squad in terms of how they’re constructed as a group and individual skill.” “They have a lot of enthusiasm and the ability to compete at the top level. There was a reason they were the higher seed. They had a tremendous regular season and dominated for the whole 82 games. To be able to finish the series with a W shows that there is clearly respect. There’s no doubt that they improved us; I’m certain that we improved them as well.”

Over the course of the series, Curry and Morant have developed a mutual appreciation, with Curry praising Morant’s maturity after Game 1 in Memphis. Morant said after the game that the Warriors were his “favorite matchup” and that he was “looking forward to more fights 30,” referring to Curry’s jersey number.

Curry stated, “His stats are insane.” “The possibilities are endless. They’ll be there for a long time, vying for Western Conference supremacy, as I said. So we’ll enjoy it and keep moving forward toward our objective, but you must recognize that they are here to stay, and he is a problem. So obviously a wonderful matchup, enjoyable, entertaining, high-level basketball, all the shenanigans and pettiness, I love it everything.”

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