Things were definitely in the Grizzlies’ favor before the tip and early in the game. Big rotation players for the Warriors, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, were out due to injury. The Grizzlies forced three turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. Overall, the Grizzlies played a tough opening 24 minutes against the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. It was the second 24 that doomed the Grizzlies as they fell in Oakland.
Things got started off rough for the Grizzlies with a turnover on the opening play leading to a Klay Thompson jumper. From there, the two teams traded the lead several times during the first quarter, after the Warriors jumped out to a four point lead early. Dillon Brooks checked in around the 5:30 mark and hit a three in his first possession and a three-point-play the next, continuing the success from his 17-point game Sunday against Phoenix. Dillon went on to lead all scorers in the first with 11 and the Grizzlies led 31-29.
The Grizzlies continued to keep the game at their pace, including a stretch where Jaren Jackson Jr. blocked three shots in less than a minute. Jackson also dropped in nine points to go along with his three blocks in the half. Durant and Thompson kept the Warriors in the game, with Durant scoring eight in the second for a total of 16 in the half. Thompson had 18 first half points to lead all scorers. One thing that became a point of contention late in the half was the difference in free throws in the first half, with the Warriors going 16-of-16 from the line to the Grizzlies 7-of-8. Nonetheless, the Grizzlies stayed in the lead the entire second quarter, but went into the break tied at 58 after a Thompson three just before the end of the second quarter.
Golden State quickly took the lead on a Stephen Curry jumper for their first lead since 15-14 in the first, but a Garrett Temple three put the Grizzlies back into the lead at 61-60. The teams would then much like the first, trade the lead back and forth several times. After going up 65-64 on a Temple dunk, the Grizzlies went cold, missing their next three shots, while the Warriors took a 71-65 lead with a little over 5:00 left in the third. From there, the Warriors played like the Warriors usually do. Golden State picked up the pace and the Grizzlies started missing lots of shots and the 65-64 lead very quickly became a 92-73 Warrior advantage. Overall, the Grizzlies were outscored 34-15 in the third.
From there it was all Warriors. The Grizzlies hit some shots but in the end it was for naught as Golden State ran the Grizzlies out of Oracle Arena. Golden State outscored Memphis 59-43 in the second half on the way to their 117-101 victory. The Warriors led by as many 26 in the fourth quarter. Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 18 points on the night, while Shelvin Mack and Jaren Jackson Jr. both had 15. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 27 points and Durant added 22. The Achilles’ Heel of the Grizzlies this season, rebounding, was in favor of the Warriors, 46-30. Each game this season that the Grizzlies have lost the rebounding battle, they’ve lost the game.
Memphis will be back in action on Wednesday night at FedExForum against Jamal Murray and the 9-1 Denver Nuggets.
- Marc Gasol came close to a triple-double with eight points, nine assists, and ten words. However, Marc only took two shots in the whole game, both in the first half. Over the last two games Gasol has only 15 attempts from the floor, including going just 2-of-2 against the Warriors.
- Dillon Brooks picked up a second technical foul in as many nights. Dillon also followed up his season-high 17 with 18 against Golden State.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. Blocked five shots on the night, a career high.
- Omri Casspi received his championship ring before the game. Casspi was cut by the Warriors two days before the end of the regular season, but the team voted to give Casspi a ring for his contributions to the team.