Warriors, behind Andrew Wiggins’ fantastic performance, romp past Grizzlies 116-103

Photo credit: @TheNBACentral

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors faced a daunting task Friday night as they found themselves down three players against the Memphis Grizzlies. Their superstar, Steph Curry, was injured Wednesday in Houston. He suffered a contusion on his tailbone and was not able to play. James Wiseman and Eric Paschall were exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and by NBA protocol, they could not play. They will miss two more games. Kelly Oubre, Jr. was also injured in the Houston game, but he was able to play. Jordan Poole started in place of Curry. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knew hoped someone would step up and help propel the Warriors to a win. That someone was Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins had a season-high 40 points to lead the Warriors to an easy 116-103 win over the young Memphis Grizzlies.

Jordan Poole continued to play well since his return from the G-League. He has found his game and has shown the Warriors that he was not another first-round draft pick that was a bust. Poole knocked down 25 points and connected on three threes from downtown. 

The Warriors played well on both ends of the court. They had great ball movement all night long. They recorded 31 assists on 44 made baskets. Their defense was outstanding as they held the Grizzlies’ budding superstar, Ja Morant, to 14 points. The Warriors stole the ball 13 times, blocked six shots, and forced 20 turnovers. They scored 30 points off the 20 Memphis turnovers.

The teams played a very competitive first quarter. Memphis led 23-18 about two thirds through the period. The Warriors, behind Wiggins, Poole, and Damion Lee, finished the first 12 minutes of play with a 16-3 run to lead 34-26. Wiggins tallied 12 points, and Poole had eight points.

The Warriors continued to run and attack. Wiggins scored 15 more points to pace the Warriors to a 67-48 halftime lead. Wiggins finished with a career-high 27 points. It was the most points that he had ever scored in any half of basketball in his career. Poole finished the half with 17 points.

The Grizzlies failed to cut the deficit in the third quarter. The teams each scored 24 points in the period. The Warriors led by 19 after three periods 91-72. Kevon Looney, Damion Looney, and Wiggins all played well.

The Grizzlies won the fourth quarter 31-25. Most of the points came well after the game had been decided. The Warriors won 116-103.

Game Notes and stats: The Warriors won their second game in a row to improve to 22-20 for the season. Memphis dropped to 18-20.

Andrew Wiggins had quite a night with 40 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He was 12-for-24 from the floor, and he connected on six threes in 11 tries. It was Wiggins’ best game as a Warrior. Jordan Poole’s line was 25 points, two rebounds, and two assists. He made 10 buckets in 15 attempts. He made three threes. Damion Lee, coming off the bench, also played well. Lee finished with 21 points, and knocked down four threes. Kevon Looney tied his season-high with 11 points.

Ja Morant and Grayson Allen led the Grizzlies with 14 points each. Their big center, Jonas Valanciunas, had a double-double with 10 points and 16 boards. Brandon Clarke, coming off the bench, had 13 points.

Up Next: The Warriors face the Grizzlies again Saturday night in Memphis. The game will start at 5 pm PST.

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