HIGHLIGHTS: Grizzlies' big men too much for Warriors
The Warriors have lost eight straight games to the Memphis Grizzlies. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry was murmuring alone at his locker after the game, half-dressed in his uniform with both knees and his right ankle wrapped in ice.
“17 more shots,” the Golden State Warriors guard said, almost repeatedly like he’d been dazed for a moment.
The Memphis Grizzlies thrived on the offensive glass and forced timely turnovers in a 94-87 victory against the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night.
The Grizzlies forced 15 turnovers and muscled their way to a 13-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Memphis shot 45.5 percent (40-for-88) from the field to overcome Golden State’s 46.5 percent (33-for-71).
“17 more shots,” like a skipping record.
Curry addressed the statistic again with the media in his postgame interview: “The offensive rebounds, and not so much hustle plays, but the plays you need to beat a team like that, we didn’t capitalize on them or gain enough possessions.
“They shoot 17 extra shots with the talent they have, it’s going to be tough to beat them.”
It’s only the second time this season the Warriors have lost back-to-back games. The Warriors have now lost eight consecutive games to the Grizzlies.
Curry was asked whether or not the Warriors should panic after losing successive games since the first time in early November.
“We’re trying to chase two teams that are right there ahead of us in the standings that are playing great basketball just like we have,” said Curry, who had a game-high 24 points. “I think we understand that we’re right there. There’s no need to panic, especially with the teams that we have in front of us.”
Klay Thompson added 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. David Lee scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds and four assists.
But the Grizzlies, who allow the least points per game, had the final says in the game’s final minutes.
The Warriors overcame as much as a 14-point deficit and tied the game at 82-82 with 3:31 remaining before the Grizzlies finished the game on a 12-5 run. Curry’s three-pointer with 32 seconds left brought Golden State within three points but Zach Randolph hit a pair of free throws and then a layup to clinch the victory for Memphis.
Despite shooting just 2-for-17 from three-point range, the Grizzlies had all five starters in double-figures including a team-high 19 points and 12 rebounds (four offensive) from Randolph. Rudy Gay scored 18 points and tallied six assists and five rebounds.
The Grizzlies were just too much inside, scoring 60 points in the paint and outrebounding the Warriors 43-38.
The Grizzlies went big in the final moments, utilizing Randolph and Marc Gasol in the post. The Warriors, with a smaller lineup of Thompson, Lee and Carl Landry at the 3-4-5 couldn’t keep Memphis’ bigs off the block. So, as a response, the Warriors went to Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins with 3:53 remaining in the game and trailing 82-80.
The Warriors tied the game at 82-82 after a pair of Klay Thompson free throws, but the Grizzlies went right back to Gasol on the block who scored inside on Ezeli. Memphis never relinquished its lead.
“They have possibly the best frontline in the Western Conference and the NBA I think,” Lee said. “They have depth on the front line, they have athletic wings to go along with it. It’s not just the bigs that are offensive rebounding.
“It’s disappointed because that’s been one of our strengths throughout the season.”
The Warriors shot 57.9 percent in the first quarter but trailed 27-26 at the end of the opening frame. The Grizzlies separated themselves with a 21-7 run in the second quarter to take a game-high 14-point lead with 4:26 remaining in the half. The Grizzlies led 55-46 at halftime.