Grizzlies hand Warriors their 11th straight road loss
MEMPHIS — A rare Warriors’ road win appeared to be within reach Saturday night.
Despite playing catch up all night in Memphis, the Warriors had the game’s momentum swing in their favor at periods in the second half. A reverse layup by Stephen Curry made it a two-point game early in the fourth. But the Warriors’ shooting would go cold and the Grizzlies had their way. Memphis went on a 15-3 run to take a 123-109 lead with 5:39 remaining in the fourth.
Coach Steve Kerr talked about putting together strong defensive showings for longer stretches. But the Warriors once again failed to do that in their 133-119 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the defeat, the Warriors dropped their 11th straight road game and dip back down to .500, where they’ve hovered most of their season. They also fell to sixth in the Western Conference standings.
Nothing is easy for this Golden State team, especially on the road. The Warriors had their defensive anchor Draymond Green back after he served a one-game suspension Friday for racking up 16 technical fouls. But with Andrew Wiggins (family matter) and Gary Payton II (core injury) sidelined indefinitely, the Warriors continue to struggle to make stops.
The Grizzlies took advantage of the visitor’s poor defense to pull ahead by as many as 15 points in the second quarter. The Grizzlies shot 44.9% from the field and 12-of-19 from deep in the first half. Meanwhile the Warriors, other than Jonathan Kuminga who had a game-high 15 points at that point, struggled to get going and were down by 12 heading into the locker room.
The Warriors showed signs of life in the third, going on an inspired 22-9 run to trim the Grizzlies’ lead down to four with 7:27 left in the third.
But Memphis fired back out of a timeout, going on a 10-0 run to once again give itself separation. But the Grizzlies also got careless, sending the Warriors to the line 19 times in the third. Jordan Poole provided a spark in the third, scoring 17 of his 21 points in that stanza. At one point he scored 12 straight of the Warriors’ points.
The chippiness was turned up a notch in the fourth. With the game in balance, Dillon Brooks snarled at Klay Thompson after knocking down a 3 to put the Grizzlies up 111-106. The Warriors would come close but could never get over the hump.
Kuminga finished with a team-high 24 points to go with his eight rebounds and three assists.
The Warriors will travel to Houston to play the Rockets on Monday.