Grizzlies hand Warriors 13th straight road loss
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—The short-handed Golden State Warriors are showing signs of fatigue physically.
And they have to be mentally tired of their road losing streak.
Golden State was coming off a 147-116 loss Friday night in San Antonio. And with only nine players available, the Warriors struggled to maintain intensity in the second half.
“I take into consideration that they didn’t have the same juice that they had (Friday) night,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “Traveling here and having the pace that they usually have pushed back at them. I saw (Stephen) Curry sucking air a little bit. I know he was tired as well as the rest of the team.”
Zach Randolph(notes) finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis, Darrell Arthur(notes) matched his career high with 16 points and had a season-best 13 rebounds, and Mike Conley(notes) scored 15 points. Gay was 4 of 6 from 3-point range, a season high in 3-pointers made.
Monta Ellis(notes) led the Warriors with 28 points, connecting on 12 of his 20 shots. Corey Maggette(notes) scored 20 points, Reggie Williams(notes) added 15. C.J. Watson(notes) had 13, and Anthony Tolliver(notes) had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Curry’s fatigue may have come from returning after missing two games with an ankle injury. Still, the Warriors were undersized and undermanned.
“There’s not much you can do as a coach,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said before the game. “You can’t match up. You’ve got to play with what you have, and go to your strength. You can’t really make anybody pay the price of a matchup.”
It showed as the Warriors were relegated to relying on their guards and the remnants of a small lineup throughout the night.
“At one point, we had (6-foot-8) Devean George(notes) playing center out there and four guards around him,” Curry said. “It’s tough to rebound and have a physical presence down low. You need that to be successful.
“You have to have that rock down low that will get you extra possessions and make it easier on defense.”
Memphis, which outrebounded Golden State 54-37, put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 38-26.
“We’ve had too many games where we let people back in the game in the fourth quarter and had to go down to the line,” Conley said. “Tonight was a good night for us. We stayed focused.”
Golden State entered the game as the second-highest scoring team in the NBA.
As expected, the defense was porous and the pace quick at the start. Memphis was getting its points inside, but the Warriors were shooting 63 percent early. And a lot of that came from Golden State getting to the basket right through Memphis defenders.
Memphis, which held a 69-64 lead at intermission, opened the second half on a 9-2 run, extending its lead to 12. Then, Randolph and Conley got untracked, keying a Memphis run that put the Grizzlies ahead 101-80. That helped Memphis carry a 107-90 advantage into the fourth, and they coasted home from there.
“They kept missing and we kept scoring,” Hollins said. “Next thing you know, it went from a close game to us being up by 11, then by 20. It just steamrolled.”
NOTES: Memphis is 12-1 at home against teams with losing records. Memphis outscored Golden State in the paint 72-60, matching the most points in the paint for the Grizzlies this season. The other time Memphis had 72 points inside was also against Golden State on Dec. 22. Nelson remains five wins away from becoming the career victory leader. Lenny Wilkens finished with 1,332. Nelson has 1,328. “It’s a good lesson to know how hard it is to win games in the NBA,” Nelson said. “I’ve always known that, but I’ve certainly been reminded this year. It has been very hard for us to win.”