How's that for getting over the Memphis blues?
Golden State led wire-to-wire for its first win in Memphis since April of 2008, and its first win against the Grizzlies in their previous twelve tries. Golden State also got its first win of the season on the back end of a back-to-back.
Klay Thompson shook off his horrific shooting in Houston the night before to score thirty points. Stephen Curry set a franchise record for most 3-pointers as part of another double-double, twenty-two points and fifteen assists. David Lee played extremely well, finishing with twenty-three points and eleven boards.
Thompson had sixteen in the first quarter to get the Warriors off to a fast start, nothing like we've seen the last few games. Indeed, the quick start by Golden State gave them a ten point lead after one quarter, and one they wouldn't relinquish the entire game. Klay finished with thirty points on 12-19 from the field.
Golden State's defense stepped up for the first time in a long while, really for the first time since Andre Iguodala went out with a hamstring injury. The Warriors allowed under 100 points for the first time in nine games, and limited the Grizzlies to just 36% shooting, the ninth time they've done that this season. While the Grizzlies had four players in double figures, Mike Miller led the team with just sixteen points; only three other Grizzlies players scored, and none of them had more than four points.
To contrast, the Dubs put up 108 on the Grizzlies, who have been one of the NBA's top defensive teams the past few years. However, with center Marc Gasol, last year's Defensive Player of the Year, out with an MCL tear, the Warriors were able to get relatively anything they wanted inside and outside. Steph Curry was ruthlessly efficient with the basketball all night, as he put up a career-high tying fifteen assists to just one turnover, a far cry from the turnover-prone team we've seen most of this season.
When the Warriors are on their game, they share the ball offensively and force teams to shoot many long, contested jump shots. That's what they did tonight. David Lee had a double-double, and it sure was a good thing that he didn't have to against another athletic stretch four again. Andrew Bogut dominated defensively against Zach Randolph, as Z-Bo couldn't ever get going in the restricted area with the sturdy seven-footer guarding him. Thompson was able to get his shots and convert, especially early on, which seemed to calm not only him but the whole team down. Golden State outscored the Grizzlies by 22 in the second half and shot 50% from the field for the game. "We just wanted to finish the game strong and make a statement," Lee explained the aggressive mindset in the second half.
Warrior Wonder: Stephen Curry
Curry had a big impact all night in all facets of the game. He was willing to set up his teammates, as he tied a career-high with fifteen assists as part of another double-double. Golden State's now 6-2 on the season when Curry has a points/assists double-double.
"I thought Steph did a great job of distributing the basketball and finding his teammates. He was making great decisions. His overall game was a thing of beauty," Coach Jackson explained afterward. He was also willing to score when called upon - when Memphis made a push to start the second half and cut Golden State's lead to single digits, Curry was there when the team needed him. He even stepped up on the glass with six rebounds.
A lot of qualified candidates for #StatLineOfTheNight tonight but Steph Curry wins it for his 22pts, 6rbs, 15asts and 1blk performance.— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) December 8, 2013
In the second half, Curry caught fire. On his first two shots of the third quarter, he hit back-to-back triples for 3-pointers 700 and 701 for his Warriors career, tying and breaking the all-time franchise record (previously held by Jason Richardson) for most three-pointers as a Warrior.
Expect Curry to blow that franchise record into the stratosphere when it's all said and done. He'll probably hold the NBA record for threes as well. I fully expect Curry to be regarded as the greatest three-point shooter ever when he retires. Curry definitely has that capability as a high volume, high efficiency three point shooter the likes of which the NBA has never seen before.
The Warriors end the three-game road trip on Monday in Curry's hometown against the Charlotte Bobcats. In the putrid Eastern Conference, where only three teams are over .500, the Bobcats are currently the seventh seed. You read that right: the Charlotte Bobcats are currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Golden State is looking to finish its stretch of seven-of-eight on the road on a positive note.