The Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 88-81 in overtime Wednesday night in Oakland. My condolences to anyone who bet the over on this game. The Grizzlies, playing without Tony Allen, swept a 4-game road trip for only the second time in franchise history, and swept a 4-game California road trip for just the third time in NBA history. They were led by their Big 3, with Zach Randolph scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, Mike Conley notching 19 points, six boards, and four assists, and Marc Gasol filling up the stat sheet with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
Coming out, it was clear that Golden State, with Andre Iguodala running the point, would have the matchup advantage over Memphis. The height and length and atletisicm of the Warrior players completely disrupted everything that the Grizzlies wanted to do. On offense, Harrison Barnes led the way for the Warriors, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the period. Golden State was 4/5 from beyond the arc as they led 26-16 after one.
In the second quarter, Memphis got balanced scoring all around to keep the Warrior lead from getting out of hand. Seven Grizzlies found the net during the frame, including six points from Marc Gasol. Each team scored 18 points in the frame and the Grizzlies were down 44-34 at the break.
The third quarter started with Memphis showing some strong and obvious halftime adjustments. Memphis opened up the quarter on a 17-4 run. Both Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored eight points in the quarter. Memphis defense kept the Warriors from getting good looks, and held their high-powered offense to just 13 points in the quarter, as the Grizzlies took a 59-57 lead into the final frame.
Memphis scored seven quick points, including a Mike Miller 3, to jump out to a seven point lead, and it look like maybe the Grizzlies were going to win this one going away. But the Warriors continued to fight and used a 9-0 to jump back to the lead at 68-66 with less than seven minutes to play. Both teams would take turns trading buckets and free throws for the next five minutes, before they both stopped scoring completely for the final two. The Grizzlies had the ball with 30 seconds left, but failed to get a good shot off. Andre Iguodala came up with the rebound, and waived off all his teammates and his coach for a timeout and airballed a contested jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.
In the bonus period, it was all Grizzlies. Mike Conley scored a couple big buckets to help give the Grizzlies the lead, and then Tayshaun Prince threw in two absolute daggers to finish them off as Memphis outscored the Warriors 13-6 in overtime.
Game Notes from the Legend-wait for it-Diary
- Kosta Koufos had 7 points and 8 rebounds tonight. Who needs a fourth back-up big?
- Jerryd Bayless and Nick Calathes combined for 6 points (1-6 shooting) and 3 assists in 22 minutes. Who needs a back-up point guard?
- Warriors fans on the whole are loud, but in particular, one Warriors fan was very loud. I'm not sure how many of you watched the Grizzlies broadcast, but there was one specific fan who could be heard clear as day throughout the game.
- Speaking of the broadcast, is Brevin Knight the new Sean Tuohy? Starting to feel that way. He made me say, "Ugh…" out loud at least 3 times last night.
- Before the game, I was texting Ryan about Iggy running the point, and my exact words were, "I wouldn't expect 10 assist or anything…" Iggy finished the night with 14 dimes.
You simply could not have asked for a better road trip from this Grizzlies squad. Coming in, they were 3-5 and in a whirlwind of confusion. They now head home 7-5 and look like they might just have found their groove as a team. Let's hope they have a safe and relaxing flight, as the schedule doesn't ease up any as Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs will be waiting for them when they return to the Grindhouse on Friday night.