Apparently, the Golden State Warriors took exception to starting the season 0-2 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
At least, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson did.
Green narrowly missed a quadruple double with 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals!), and the taller Splash Brother lead all scorers with 36 points as the Warriors put to Beale street to bed early.
This much-anticipated game was the follow-up to arguably the worst regular season loss of the Steve Kerr era (that Christmas Day travesty is probably first). On January 6, the Grizzlies erased a 24-point third quarter deficit at Oracle to win a jaw-dropping, fall-off-the-couch stunner in overtime, 128-119. The Warriors, who shot just 26.7% from three-point range that night, kept that in mind.
Friday, the Dubs blasted the Grizz in the Grindhouse to gain a measure of redemption. The Dubs jumped out to a very early lead thanks to a 11-point personal run by Klay Thompson, who hit 3-of-5 from three in the opening minutes.
From there, it was an elite Warriors defense which forced 18 turnovers and held the home team to 39.1% from the field.
Andre Iguodala was incredibly huge off the bench, adding 22 points on seven shots. The Finals MVP was 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep. The standout performance of the tertiary three made the dynamic duo (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant) into exceptionally brilliant role players.
The Dubs appeared to be in control of the game near halftime, but the Grizzlies remained in striking distance. However, Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale earned an ejection for complaining about a call. Former Warriors head coach Keith Smart (remember him?) assumed the lead chair, and Memphis promptly surrendered a 7-0 run to create a 13-point halftime deficit.
Mike Conley (20 points, nine assists) and Zach Randolph (17 points, 13 rebounds) were good, but not nearly enough. For the second consecutive match-up, the Dubs built a 24+ point second half advantage, and this time, they were able to shut it down. The Grizzlies will get the weekend off before heading to Brooklyn to face the Nets. The Warriors will try to put this win out of mind, as they head into Saturday night’s much-hyped game in Oklahoma City. It will be Kevin Durant’s first time back in Chesapeake Energy Arena since the 2016 western conference finals.
Other stuff that grinds our gears
Draymond Green registered the first non-points triple double in NBA history. That’s 70 years, folks. Just be grateful he didn’t hunt for some extra stat-padding like he did in a certain game in Philadelphia last season that shall not be named.
McAdoo was McADON’T tonight, with three blocks and eight points in 11 minutes. And a perfect 4-of-4 from the field!
A lot of former Warriors folks in the house, as former lottery pick Brandan Wright, former signee Toney Douglas, and former head coach Keith Smart were all on the floor. You could even throw Vince Carter in there: half-man, half-amazing was a Golden State Warrior for all of several minutes back in 1998.