MEMPHIS – Thanks to some trademark gritty defense and clutch shots down the stretch, the (20-4) Memphis Grizzlies snapped the (21-3) Golden State Warriors 16-game win streak, 105-98
GOOD: In handing the NBA-best Warriors their first loss since Nov. 11—a 113-100 decision vs. the San Antonio Spurs—Memphis was led by reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year in center Marc Gasol, who scored 24 points, point guard Mike Conley’s 17 points and Zach Randolph with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Golden State was led by the vaunted “Splash Brothers” back court duo of shooting guard Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who scored 22 and 19 points. Power forward Marreese Speights added 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
BAD: In what looked to be an off-night for the league’s fourth best three-point shooting team—at 37.6 percent—Golden State shot 9-of-31 (29.0 percent) from beyond the arc. A controversial technical was assessed to swingman Andre Igoudola, after he appeared to mock the referee for missing a clear traveling non-call on Grizzlies guard Mike Conley on a lay-up to the rim.
ANALYSIS: While winning 16 straight games is impressive, my takeaway from this game is that in two of their three losses—the other being Phoenix—is that if opponents can get physical with the Warriors and force them into becoming a jump-shooting team, eventually, they will begin to miss some shots, and when they do, that is the best time to go on a run and put them away.
Golden State is a team that relies heavily on the Splash Bros. for points and pace to cover up their suspect defense, if you can disrupt them, or force them into bad shots—as they lead the NBA in field-goal percentage, at 48.2 percent—you have a shot at beating them.
Perhaps, Tuesday was an off-night for Golden State, as they played in the den of the NBA’s best home team in the Grizzlies—who are 12-1 in the Grindhouse—but Memphis may have just shown the rest of the league how to shut down the high-octane Warriors.
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