Then in the final minutes of regulation, Ja Morant limping off the floor with a knee injury was the most troubling harbinger for Memphis’ Game 4 outlook. It’s a perfect time to think the Warriors are going to coast to a Western Conference Finals, but Golden State needs to realize that Memphis may come out with a card up their sleeves in Game 4.

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Golden State can’t let its focus wander. The most dangerous animal you can encounter is an injured one. Memphis has shown the backbone to bounce back from big in-game deficits all season long. It rallied over and over to win without Ja Morant throughout the regular season, compiling a record of 20-5 in games that he sat.

We’ve seen Golden State fumble control of a series or games it had in hand before. There is a thin line between Steve Kerr’s motion offense moving in synchronicity and the chaos that kept Memphis hanging around in the first half. Golden State shot 70 percent from the field, but nearly tripped over its own feet by committing 14 turnovers.

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Nobody shares the rock like Golden State whose 29.4 assists per game in the postseason is first among playoff teams by a significant margin. It led the league in assists per game every postseason from 2015 through 2019, save for 2017 when it was second behind New Orleans. When Kerr joined the Warriors, he tracked 300 passes per game as a barometer for the offense. Sometimes they take that lesson too far and overpassing becomes their peccadillo. When the Warriors start getting too full of themselves, the ball turns into a live grenade they can’t wait to toss back to the opposing team.

A Game 4 at home with the chance to take a 3-1 series lead is the perfect time for Golden State to get comfortable. Golden State will have nearly its full complement of talent available, assuming Green doesn’t earn himself a silly tech, but Memphis returns Dillon Brooks into the fold. Brooks has only scored eight points in this series, but he’s also fresh, amped up and ready to burst at the seams to make up for lost time.

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Golden State was hot in Game 2, but this series may hinge on whether the team can maintain that same energy for Game 3.