Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) drives past Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
by Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland-The Memphis Grizzlies, down by 24 points 88-64 midway through the third quarter, stopped the Warriors cold in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies never led at all in the entire 48 minutes of regulation. They tied the game at 2 in the first quarter and trailed until they tied the game at 111 at the end of the second half. The Grizzlies owned the five -minute overtime period to send the Dubs down to their sixth loss of the year by a score 128-119.
The Warriors lost to Memphis in Memphis on December 10th. The Dubs lost that game by 21 points and were gunning to avenge that loss Friday night at the Oracle Arena.They knew the Grizzlies like to slow the game down. The Grizzlies love to play defense as they are tied for second in that department. The Dubs started well. Steph Curry, playing more aggressively, scored 17 in the first quarter to put the Dubs up by five 34-29. They continued to play well in the second quarter too. The Warriors scored 33 and held the Grizzlies to 28 and led by 12 at the half 67-55. Steph had 19, Klay Thompson knocked down 15, and Kevin Durant added 16.
The Warriors looked unstoppable in the third quarter as they finished the period with a 19-point lead. Steph made four 3-point shots, and the crowd was going wild. No one in the arena could believe what was about to transpire in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies shut down the Warrior offense. The Warriors went almost nine minutes without a field goal. They made just two buckets in the entire fourth quarter. They scored a total of just 13 points while the Grizzlies outscored them by nineteen to tie the game and send the contest into overtime. The Warriors missed seven free throws in the final period of play to help seal their fate. The Grizzlies dominated play with a smothering defense and were able to get back into the game behind the play of their big men, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Point guard Michael Conley was a force and Troy Daniels made four 3-pointers that helped the Grizzlies to victory. The Grizzlies owned the overtime period. They took the lead for the first time 113-111 and never trailed to win 128-119.
Game Notes- The Warriors turned the ball over just six times in the first half. The second half was a different story as they committed nine turnovers and the Grizzlies were able to capitalize on those mistakes. With the loss, the Warriors are now 31-6 for the year while the Grizzlies,- under first-year head coach Dave Fizdale, improve to 23-16. The Grizzlies now are 2-0 against Golden State this season.
All the Warrior starters were in double figures. Steph led the team with 40 points, six assists, and 4 rebounds. Kevin Durant had a double-double with his 27 points and 13 rebounds. Klay had 17, Draymond 11 points and 8 boards. Zaza Pachulia scored 10, and Shaun Livington tallied 7. Michale Conley paced Memphis with 27 and 12 assists. Zach Randolph, coming off the bench, had a double-double. Randolph scored a season-high 27 to go along with 6 assists and 11 rebounds. Marc Gasol chipped in with 23.The Grizzlies scored 56 points in the paint, and they had 29 assists. The Dubs were held to just 23 assists.
The Warriors will have 48 hours to reflect on the loss. They probably played the worst quarter of basketball of the season Friday night.
The Warriors travel to Sacramento to face the Kings at the new Golden 1 Arena on Sunday. Game time is at 6 pm.