Basketball, at its best, is a game of rhythm — that's why you get folks like Wynton Marsalis and the like comparing it to jazz.
The Golden State Warriors' 97-84 win against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight was anything but that. It was ugly, uneven, and chaotic at times. Yet it was also another win without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green — another chance for the Warriors to show off the depth supporting their crew of all-stars.
The Warriors opened the game cold on the whole with plenty of turnovers in response to an aggressive Grizzlies perimeter defense. Here's a very tempered response to that:
A great test for GSW as MEM overplays the perimeter hard. Challenges W’s to execute cuts and dives properly. Mixed results so far.— Eric Apricot (@EricApricot) December 21, 2017
Here's another response:
Man, COME ON WARRIORS! Play hard on both ends! All these dumb turnovers! Uggggh— MBG (@BabersGreen) December 21, 2017
But Klay Thompson helped get the team going in the second quarter, scoring 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting in the first half and going 9-for-9 at one point.
Kevin Durant added 15 points as the all-star duo helped the Warriors overcome a turnover-marred first half to enter halftime up 56-51. Onto Casspi was also extremely impressive in the first half, making hustle plays, smart cuts, and getting a right-place-right-time putback late in the second.
But the second half was a different story. While Durant and Thompson combined to shoot 2-for-12 — with Thompson failing to hit a shot -- the Warriors turned up the pressure on defense, holding the Grizzlies to just 22.7% from the field in the second half. As hard as it was to watch, the Warriors only needed to shoot 35.1% from the field themselves to slowly pull away from a Grizzlies team in desperate need of their star point guard, Mike Conley, who sat out again injured.
Thompson led the way for the Warriors, finishing the game with 29 points and a team-high 5 assists — his dramatically improved ball handling was on full display, even on plays that didn't result in a bucket. Durant, who scored a team-high 7 of his 22 in the second half, was also a key player in this one.
The win is the Warriors' 10th in a row, which is perhaps more of an accomplishment than it first seems for a team that once won 72 games.
Warriors are the fourth team in NBA history to post a double-digit win streak in five consecutive campaigns pic.twitter.com/6EwARqxGkD— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 21, 2017
That they did it with a number of rotation players missing makes it that much sweeter.
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Grizzlies?
This poll is closed
Klay Thompson’s first half
Omri Casspi’s cuts
Pat McCaw’s dunk
Nick Young’s block
The second half defense