Only one word can describe tonight's match up against the Grizzlies: disappointment. With the Grizzlies coming to town, the walking wounded Warriors suited up 9 players. Out for tonight's game were: Troy Murphy (ankle), Baron Davis (ankle), Andis Beidrins (car accident) and Chris Taft (back spasms). What transpired at the Coliseum tonight was a crushing, heart breaking last second buzzer beater loss that brought the Warriors record to 23-28. However, the loss doesn't do justice to how hard the Warriors hustled and played defense tonight.
The Warriors started out the game slow, with only one field goal in the first 5:08 by way of an Ike Diogu 17-footer. However, the theme throughout the night was inspired team play and solid defense, which kept them from being completely out of the game. A key transition of the game occurred when Mickael Pietrus took it strong to the whole while drawing a foul. Upon completing the 3-point play and cutting the score to 13-7 Grizzlies the Warriors seemed to wake up and start executing on the offensive end. The Warriors hard work paid off as they stayed in the game for most of the first half with J-Rich on the bench with foul trouble, but just could not contain Pau Gasol the whole game as he dropped 15 points in the first half and had 23 points and 13 rebounds on the night.
Things eventually looked promising as the Warriors came out of the locker room pumped up and playing awesome defense, holding the Grizzlies to only 11 points in the 3rd quarter. A great 3rd quarter was followed by a mediocre 4th quarter where the Warriors only scored 14 points. However, the Warriors did play strong down the stretch and were able to overcome sub par shooting (37.8%) with excellent free throw shooting (20-23). In a frantic final two minutes of the game that saw the scoring go back and forth, and a bone head foul from Pietrus with 7 seconds left, Derek Fisher was able to tie the game with 3.9 seconds left. As the fans prepared for overtime, Pau Gasol showed the Warrior contingent otherwise as he nailed a short turn-around jumper as time expired to win the game.
Some bright points of the game saw Mike Dunleavy come off the bench and contribute a solid 15 points and 8 rebounds from good shooting and big-time hustle. Ike Diogu also put in a decent yet inconsistent night dropping in 10 points and 5 rebounds. But the unsung hero of the night would have to be Adonal Foyle who consistently crashed the boards and nabbed 10 rebounds.
Warrior Wonder: Mr. Derek Fisher dropped 21 points for the night along with 9 assists. Those stats alone don't encompass Derek Fisher's importance to the game tonight. He provided much needed leadership to an undermanned team and played hard-nosed defense. Not to mention he hit a clutch game tying shot with 3.9 seconds remaining. Overall, an all-around solid performance by Mr. Fisher showing how valuable he is to the Warriors.