By Gabe Schapiro
The Golden State Warriors (45-27) simply wouldn’t be denied as Stephen Curry led a late comeback to topple the Memphis Grizzlies (43-29), 100-93, Friday night, at Oracle Arena. A Grizzlies win would have tied the two squads in the standings, and extended their luck on the Warriors home court, having won four straight in Oakland. Golden State was without David Lee and Andrew Bogut, but they still put together one of their more impressive outings of the season, leading to very different headlines.
The contest was close throughout, and was played with a true playoff atmosphere. Neither side ever held more than a seven-point lead, as the two Western Conference foes duked it out. The Warriors had a three-point lead after the first quarter, and that was trimmed down to one point heading into half time.
After another close quarter in the third, as it often does it all came down to the final 12 minutes. Heading into the waning minutes the momentum swung decidedly in the Grizzlies favor, and it looked like they would outlast Golden State. With a bit more than three minutes remaining, Memphis had opened up a game-high seven-point lead. The Grizzlies wouldn’t score another point, however, and the Warriors came alive, going on a 14-0 run.
A huge Draymond Green three-pointer brought the Dubs back to within just two points, and a minute later Curry followed suit with a trey of his own to tie grab back the lead. Golden State suffocated the Grizzlies offense in the final minute plus, and Curry provided the dagger on the offensive end. Two Klay Thompson free-throws with a few seconds left officially sealed the Warriors victory.
Curry was fantastic, finishing with a game-high 33 points, eight assists, five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. If he was Batman, than Green may well have been his batman. He played a huge 32 minutes off the bench, and contributed 12 points and nine boards. Marreese Speights got his first start of the season, a decision that was initially confusing, but paid off. He had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and eight rebounds.
On the negative side Bogut took a hit to the groin just four minutes into the game, and never returned after heading to the locker room. His status moving forward is unknown, but would be a huge loss if he has to miss any significant time.
Zach Randolph led the way for Memphis in the losing effort. He posted a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Mike Conley added 20 points and six assists.
The Warriors are back in action this Sunday, when the New York Knicks come to town. The game starts at 6:00 PM.