Regular-season stats show GP2's lock-down defense vs. Morant


If one player can help the Warriors contain Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant, it's Gary Payton II.

Golden State's journeyman guard/forward has made quite a name for himself this season, giving the Warriors a burst of energy on both ends of the court in the regular season and in the first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets.

With the Warriors set to meet Morant and a young Grizzlies team Sunday at FedExForum, Golden State's defense will be tested against the high-flying star. And history shows that Payton, specifically, should fare well against the 22-year-old.

The sample size is just 16 minutes, but the numbers are staggering. This certainly will be a matchup to keep an eye on this series.

"Gary really played so well against Denver," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Saturday. "A real key obviously in Game 5 and also Game 3, knocking down shots, defending. His pick-and-roll defense at the end of Denver Game 5 was amazing, and we're going to need that against Ja for sure. So, Gary will see plenty of that matchup, among others. Gary is a player who, I think, is built for the playoffs. It's his kind of game, so I'm excited to play him."

RELATED: Why Warriors should have slight edge over young Grizzlies

Golden State and Memphis played each other four times in the regular season, with the Grizzlies winning three. Set to meet again in the Western Conference semifinals, Payton and the Warriors will see plenty of Morant for at least four games, and likely more.

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