Draymond Green comes off the bench in return from latest suspension, scores 7 points in loss to Grizzlies

Green missed 16 games following an indefinite suspension for striking Suns C Jusuf Nurkić

Draymond Green returned to the court for the Golden State Warriors on Monday night after his latest suspension this season, which kept him out for more than a month.

His presence, however, wasn’t enough to lift the Warriors to a win. The Memphis Grizzlies surged ahead in the fourth quarter to take a 116-107 win, which snapped a four-game home losing skid. Green finished with seven points, seven rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench.

Green missed 16 games after he was suspended indefinitely for striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the head during a game last month. Green was suspended for five games in November, too, after he put Rudy Gobert in a headlock in a wild brawl during a game against the Timberwolves.

After a long suspension, during which Green said he nearly retired until commissioner Adam Silver talked him out of it, Green was officially reinstated earlier this month. He spent last week ramping back up until he was finally ready to make his return on Monday.

Green came off the bench and entered the game midway through the first quarter. Fans at FedExForum were quick to hit him with a loud chorus of boos, which continued the first few times he touched the ball.

Green, though, didn’t seem bothered by it. Instead, he hit his first shot attempt of the game — a wide-open 3-pointer.

That bucket sparked an 11-3 run for the Warriors, too, who took a six-point lead after the opening period. The Warriors held on to a slight two-point lead at halftime, too, thanks to 16 points from Stephen Curry in the opening 24 minutes. Green didn’t take another shot in the first half.

The Warriors took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter, too. Green missed one shot, but hit a pair of free throws, in the third period. That’s when the Grizzlies took off. Memphis opened the fourth quarter on a 21-10 tear, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Luke Kennard and GG Jackson, to suddenly take a double-digit lead. From there, the Grizzlies simply held on in the final period to grab the nine-point win.

Vince Williams led the Grizzlies with 24 points and seven rebounds in the win. Jackson added a career-high 23 points off the bench, and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Grizzlies shot 20-of-54 from behind the arc as a team, which was twice the amount of 3-pointers the Warriors made.

Curry led the Warriors with 26 points and eight assists, though he went just 3-of-9 from the 3-point line. Jonathan Kuminga finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and Andrew Wiggins finished with 16 points. The Warriors had 19 turnovers as a team.

The Warriors went 8-8 without Green, and lost three of their last four headed into Monday’s game. Green entered that contest averaging 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds in 15 games this season, his 12th in the league.

Green is likely to re-enter the starting lineup in the near future, though it’s unclear when that may be. The Warriors will take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday before opening a five-game homestand against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.