The FedEx Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies, is called the “Grindhouse” for a reason.
The Golden State Warriors grinded out their 33rd road win of the season beating the Memphis Grizzlies 100-99. The victory was also their 71st victory, having them be one victory shy of tying the ’95-’96 Bulls and can match the Bulls win total of 72 with a win on Sunday at San Antonio.
The “heartbeat” of the Warriors, Draymond Green, led the charge with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He also played fantastic post-defense on Grizzlies’ bruiser, Zach Randolph.
His will and determination brought the Warriors back into the game after they were down for much of the fourth quarter.
The “Splash Brothers” of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson did not shoot well, particularly from beyond the arc, where the two behind the arc combined to shoot 5-of-24. Curry also had nine rebounds and eight assists in his 17 point effort. Harrison Barnes was another contributing factor totaling 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 from the three-point line.
Andre Iguodala and Festus Ezeli also made big plays for the Warriors in this win. Iguodala had five points and five rebounds off the bench for Steve Kerr. He made a huge three-pointer to bring the Warriors within 93-90 after being down by ten much of the fourth quarter.
Festus Ezeli played admirably in the absence of starting center Andrew Bogut, who was given the night off to rest. Ezeli had nine points, including two rim-rocking alley-oop dunks that seemed to energize him and his team early in the game. He also made all three of his free-throw attempts.
Playing without key starters, two veterans for the Memphis Grizzlies stepped up and almost led the injury-riddled Grizzlies to victory. Vince Carter and Matt Barnes combined for 39 points with Carter having 15 and Barnes having 24 points respectively.
All-star Zach Randolph was held to 12 points on 6-of-19 and Lance Stephenson contributed 13 points on 6-of-13 from the field. The Grizzlies also got contributions from P.J. Hairston and JaMychal Green with seven points apiece off the bench.
Memphis controlled the game in the second-half, particularly in the third quarter when they penetrated the Warriors’ defense and got constantly good looks from the perimeter and also attacked the rim. The Grizzlies outscored the Warriors 28-17 in the third quarter and took a 78-70 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Memphis Grizzlies were one basket away from spoiling the Warriors’ chance at breaking the Bulls’ regular season record. Luckily for the Warriors, grinded out stops on defense when it mattered in the waning moments of the fourth quarter and Curry, Barnes, and Iguodala hit three monster threes.
The Warriors grinded out a win against a depleted Memphis squad and now their attention turns to facing the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday with a chance to tie the Bulls regular season win total and to end two streaks. One of the streaks is the Spurs’ undefeated home record of the season at 39-0 and the 33 straight losses in San Antonio since the year Tim Duncan got drafted in 1997.
Can the Warriors win their 72nd while attempting to break both of those streaks?
Golden State Warriors (71-9) @ San Antonio Spurs (65-14)
San Antonio, TX
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Golden State Warriors Writer