The Memphis Grizzlies kept their postseason hopes alive Wednesday night with a dominant win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 on the FedExForum as they exited the tournament with a 134-95 win. The Memphis received contributions from both the top and bottom of their roster as seven players wrapped up the win on double-digit goals.
With the win, the Grizzlies avoid elimination and will now force Game 6 in San Francisco to make a matchup in Game 7 in Memphis if they win in California on Friday. Here are the three main points of the game 5.
1. Not the worst explosion in game history.
Golden State blew themselves out of the history books 28-15 in the fourth quarter, but before that, this match had a chance to become historic. The biggest explosion in Supplements history came in 2009 when the Denver Nuggets defeated the then-New Orleans Hornets by 58 points. The Grizzlies led by 55 points in the third quarter. If they paid for it, they might have won 60 or 70. We know for sure that they can. They won their 73-game December regular season game against Thunder.
Let’s focus on the competitive part of the game, that was the first three quarters. At this point, the Grizzlies had advanced so many points that even if they cleared all of their thirteen throws after three quarters, they still had a 68-67 point lead. They won the third quarter by an unreasonable 25 point margin. It took them just over half that to total 98 points from game four. This might not be the worst playoff loss in NBA history, but it’s not far off either.
2. Ball control feat
In the second half the shooting got out of hand but if you look at the percentages in the first half you can see it was a relatively close game. The Warriors scored 47.4 percent of their field goals in the first half. The Grizzlies took 50.9 percent of their stake. The Warriors made 39.1 percent of the first half of the 3-s. The Grizzlies held 44.4 percent of their shares. Even Golden State shot a higher percentage of the streak. Normally you see these numbers and expect a relatively close game. As we know, this game wasn’t even close. why? Well, in the first half…
- The Grizzlies had 10 more offensive rebounds than the Warriors.
- The Warriors had 11 more spins than the Grizzlies.
- As a result of these two factors, the Grizzlies attempted 18 more field goals than the Warriors.
It turns out that winning a basketball game is very difficult if you never own the basketball. In part this was to be expected. The Grizzlies were easily the best offensive rebound team in the NBA this season. The Golden State move and Heavy Attack become the equation because Warriors manage to look at all of their other traits more cleanly. But numbers like these are something else entirely.
Getting Stephen Adams back on track clearly made a difference, and the Warriors aren’t punishing him defensively the way Minnesota can without shooting a big guy. But some of the troubles here were just a lethargic night of basketball for the Warriors, likely expecting a win over an exhausted opponent. Now they have to play Game 6 without Gary Payton II and possibly Otto Porter Jr. Knowing that losing would force them to play Game 7 on the road to decide the fate of their season. These are areas where the Warriors should lose, but there’s no excuse for the beating they took on Wednesday.
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3. Diligence in Control
Would you believe me if I told you interim coach Mike Brown was able to fill Steve Kerr 12-1 even after that disaster? That’s right, the future Sacramento Kings coach beat Kerr’s record in the 2017 playoffs 11-0. He picked up a 12th win in Game 4 and eventually his first loss in Game 5, but boy was he ugly.
His win in Game 4 wasn’t anything special either. It wouldn’t take a double digit return to beat an opponent without the best player on your home court. But that’s the kind of basketball the Warriors have played in the last two games. Sloppy, unfocused and lazy. Stephen Curry saved her from Game 4 because it’s Stephen Curry. Once in a while he can. Nothing can save them from Game 5’s demise.
Should this loss come with Kerr at the helm? Probably. No coach is worth 40 points in a single game. But the Warriors haven’t looked like the Warriors since their coach contracted COVID-19. The key here is to get him back on the bench as quickly as possible. They’re already missing Payton and possibly Porter. Not being their coach makes things even more difficult.