The Golden State Warriors finished a grueling road trip on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies. While Memphis was missing both Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Dubs were playing their second back-to-back in the past six days. Already depleted by injuries, Golden State rested Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Otto Porter Jr as well.
Needless to say, even with their absences, the Grizzlies dominated the Dubs in a 123-95 victory, handing the Warriors their worst loss of the season.
The Warriors came out of the gate with great energy in the first quarter, playing some of their best defense in recent memory. They held the Grizzlies to just 20 points in the first quarter and just 28% shooting from the field. However, the Warriors found even less offensive success, scoring just 16 points.
Both teams’ second units struggled even more to start the second quarter, but Memphis’ healthier depth eventually helped them begin pulling away. When the Warriors’ starters returned, they could not stop the bleeding. Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Jonathan Kuminga took nearly half of the team’s field-goal attempts early, starting just 3-for-17.
Dillon Brooks led the way for Memphis, scoring 15 points in the first two quarters, but plenty of Grizzlies got in on the action. De’Anthony Melton was the only other Memphis player in double-figures at the half, but every Grizzlies starter had at least 5 points. With their shooting percentage approaching a reasonable value, Memphis pulled away and built an enormous 63-37 lead at the half.
Before getting into the locker room, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was ejected arguing for the referees. Perhaps he was trying to motivate his team. Perhaps he wanted some extra time to pack for the team’s flight. Either way, it didn’t seem to have much impact on the game.
Poole got hot in the third quarter and brought the Warriors within 20 points of the Grizzlies for an instant, but Memphis quickly answered and pushed their lead back above 20 for good.
There’s not much to say. The Warriors are sliding at the worst possible time and while the absence of key players like Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Green was obviously a key contributor to tonight’s showing, Golden State has been stringing together mediocre (or worse) performances for some time. In fact, the Warriors are 7-15 Since February 7th.
The Warriors' chances of catching the Grizzlies for the second-seed in the Western Conference already looked bleak, but after finishing 1-4 on this five-game road trip, it’s close to officially out of the equation. The Dubs are now five games behind Memphis and just 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for control of the third-seed in the West. Golden State now returns home to play the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. They host the Suns on Wednesday, March 30th at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
There is no postgame show tonight because... well... you know how tonight’s game went. Still, if you haven’t already, go follow our own Marc Delucchi over on Twitch to be notified when he goes live to talk about the latest in Dub Nation.