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Deflated and Defeated: Grizzlies Fall to Warriors in Pivotal Game 5

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After the Warriors made adjustments in Game 4, Memphis failed to change anything and fell flat against Golden State while losing 98-78 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In a pivotal Game 5 matchup, the Golden State Warriors routed the Grizzlies 98-78 Wednesday night. Memphis was outplayed, outcoached, outrebounded, outshot, outhustled, and outmatched.

Things started off well enough for the Grizzlies, who led by as many as 13 in the first quarter. With Jeff Green starting in place of Tony Allen, Memphis was able to get a couple of good looks inside early on, specifically from Zach Randolph. ZBo started off 4/4 from the court including a catch-and-shoot 3 as he scored nine of the team's first 11 points.

Did you enjoy that paragraph? Good, because that's where the highlights end for the Grizzlies. With 1:10 remaining in the first quarter, trailing by eight points, the Warriors went on an absurdly quick 9-0 run to end the quarter and take the lead at 26-25.

Golden State would ride that momentum into the second quarter where they would begin to break things open. The Warriors made four 3-pointers in the quarter, and used a balanced scoring attack to keep the Grizzlies defense from over-committing to Thompson or Curry. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala, who combined for 30 points on the night, each made 3's in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies combination of turnovers and poor offensive execution resulted in a measly 16 points, and they trailed 49-41 heading into the half.

The third quarter played the same familiar tune as the second, as Memphis was outscored 25-16. The Grizzlies simply couldn't muster anything consistent on offense, and if they did manage to hold onto the basketball and make a shot, it was answered by a Steph Curry 3 or a Draymond Green layup. They trailed 74-57 heading into the fourth, and although 12 minutes remained, the game was long over.

Game Notes from the Legend-wait for it-Diary

  1. Courtney Lee was 100% from the floor tonight, but he only took three shots. 3. In 31 minutes. That shouldn't happen when the team is at full capacity, and it certainly cannot happen in a game of this magnitude.
  2. Make no mistake about it, Memphis has played really terrible basketball for the last eight quarters, but you have to credit Steve Kerr and the Warriors. They've made adjustments, started playing much better defense, and have hit and inordinate amount of ridiculous shots.
  3. Vince Carter was -23 on the night and was an absolute liability on both ends of the floor for the majority of his playing time. I'd like to know how many times some variation of that sentence was accurately written about Vince this year. 15? 20? More?
  4. The Warriors are doing to Marc Gasol what the 2012-2013 Spurs did to Zach Randolph. It's incredibly frustrating to watch how powerless he looks against the double and triple teams. At one point, Gasol got the ball on the elbow, saw the triple team heading his way, looked to pass to Calathes, then checked over to see Carter, and then held onto the ball for a moment, sighing deeply within his soul (I imagine) and finally kicking it to Calathes.

The Grizzlies will now return home to Memphis where they must win in Game 6 to keep their season alive. Much talk is made about how this team thrives in the underdog role. If that's the case, they have the Warriors right where they want them, because they couldn't possibly be backed into a bigger corner than they are right now. They haven't scored more than 85 points in their last two games, and their defense has been shredded along the way. The Grizzlies will have to continue to search for answers on offense, hope Tony Allen is capable of going on defense, and pray that Golden State starts missing some of these incredible shots, because if not, this once promising season will again be cut short.