Steven Adams controversy: Was flagrant foul call justified?

April 20, 2022

Steven Adams was controversially called for a flagrant foul in the Grizzlies' 124-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves that tied their NBA Western Conference series 1-1.

The New Zealander, who played only the first three minutes of the game, scoring no points and registering only one assist, got called for a foul that was upgraded to a flagrant after he smacked Jarred Vanderbilt across the face. Vanderbilt appeared to make the most of it.

Once play continued, Ja Morant scored 23 points and handed out 10 assists as the Grizzlies looked much more like the team that posted the NBA's second-best record.

Morant went to the bench with 4:40 left to a huge ovation. He finished a rebound shy of a triple-double. Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. each added 16 with Jackson hitting 4 of 7 from 3-point range as the Grizzlies set a franchise-record for largest margin of victory in the postseason.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant was phenomenal along with the bench outscoring Minnesota 60-43.

“This is our recipe ...,” Jenkins said. “But this is the more the style that we got to play.”

Seven Grizzlies finished in double figures with Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman Sr. and Ziaire Williams each having 13. Tyus Jones added 10.


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