The Memphis Grizzlies may have the momentum, but the Golden State Warriors have history on their side when the Western Conference semifinals continue Friday night with Game 6 in San Francisco.
Facing elimination in the best-of-seven Wednesday and lining up without leading scorer Ja Morant, the Grizzlies dominated Golden State on both ends of the court in a historically lopsided 134-95 home win in Game 5.
A second straight Grizzlies win would send the series back to Memphis for Game 7, an advantage the second-seeded club earned by finishing three games ahead of the third-seeded Warriors in the regular season.
But Golden State’s 117-116 win at Memphis in Game 1 flipped the home-court edge in the series to the Warriors, giving the recent three-time NBA champions the inside track to earning a berth in the Western Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.
“We’ve shown we’re a resilient team this year,” Golden State star Stephen Curry insisted after the Game 5 blowout, the largest in the postseason for the club since 2014. “We have the right mindset, the right approach, and all the tools we need to show who we really are in Game 6.”
The Warriors are expected to still be without coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for COVID-19 before Game 4. Longtime assistant coach Mike Brown directed the Warriors in in Game 4 and Game 5. Brown has been named as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, effective after the season.
At home, the Warriors have been unbeatable during the playoffs. They won three home games in a row by an average of 13.3 points over the Denver Nuggets in Round 1 and crushed the Grizzlies 142-112 in San Francisco in Game 3 of this series as the visitors watched Morant go down with a knee injury.
But Memphis, as it has done all season, has responded well to seeing its star in street clothes on the sidelines. The Grizzlies were without Morant for 25 games in the regular season, winning 20 of them. And in Game 4 they led for almost 46 of the 48 minutes despite shooting poorly (41.7 percent overall, 25.7 percent on 3-pointers) but the Warriors escaped with a 101-98 decision.
Then in Game 5, the…
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Author : Field Level Media
Publish date : 2022-05-12 23:00:16
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