Warriors get embarrassed by Grizzlies in Game 5, limp home for Game 6

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Dubs limp home for Game 6 after 'embarrassing' Game 5 loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

So profoundly defective were the Warriors on Wednesday night in Memphis that at times their ineptitude bordered on intoxication turned illusion, or maybe a caricatured 48-minute compilation of the absolute worst moments of their erratic regular season.

Game 5 of this Western Conference semifinals series was, for the Warriors, less a competitive effort to succeed than an open plea to be humiliated.

The Grizzlies gleefully accepted, repeatedly slapping the Warriors and then spanking them off the FedExForum floor with a 134-95 loss that was, no exaggeration, considerably more lopsided than the score.

“We got our a-- kicked,” Draymond Green said.

“It’s awful. Embarrassing,” Klay Thompson said.

This was the Warriors' worst postseason loss since a 138-98 thrashing by the Clippers in April 2014. They were outshot, outworked and – most insulting to their “championship DNA” – outsmarted by a team still is trying to decipher the difference between games during the regular season and those during the playoffs.

Though the Warriors still hold a 3-2 series lead, the Grizzlies blasted their way from the brink of elimination to force a Game 6 on Friday at Chase Center.

“They obviously came out with a sense of urgency,” Stephen Curry said. “Our game plan, in terms of how we know we can beat this team, things we focus on, we did everything wrong. Turnovers. Offensive rebounds. Fouls.

“On the road, when you give a team that’s playing with desperation life like that, you don’t think you’re going to lose by 40, but you could lose control of the game really quickly.”

The Warriors had heard the pregame speech from Draymond Green, reminding them that a closeout game on the road is the toughest of all in the postseason. They surely wanted to play well enough and wise enough to return to the Bay Area on Thursday knowing their next game would be Monday at the soonest.

A few days to exhale, while the Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks series concluded, was the Golden State dream. Instead, the Warriors were oddly careless and languid, submitting a performance that equates to egging themselves and their sneakers.

“We’ve got to be more mindful of where we’re going on the floor and not take risks, because we could still get great shots,” Curry said. “We showed that in the first quarter for 10 minutes. And then all hell broke loose.”

Turnovers kept coming, one after another, after another, after another. The Warriors committed 10 in the second quarter, giving Memphis 18 points, and finished the half with 14 giveaways, leading to 25 points for the Grizzlies.

“We just have to be more conscious of taking care of the ball,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “We have to understand that their length and athleticism is an advantage that they have. Their quickness.

“We have to – have to – settle down on the offensive end of the floor to try to limit them. When you have turnovers like we did tonight, especially early, it kind of snowballs. It gets them out in transition, gives them confidence and it kind of deflates us as the game goes along.”

Rebounds kept going and going and going and going – to the Grizzlies. It was 30-17 at the half, 46-25 after three quarter and 55-37 for evening. The Steven Adams effect is real.

“Part of it was their physicality; they were extremely physical tonight,” Brown said. “Then part it is that we’ve had an alertness or an awareness when it came to hitting bodies and boxing people out early. We didn’t have that tonight.”

The Warriors were down 27 at halftime, down 40 halfway through the third quarter, when Brown emptied the bench in surrender. Three minutes later, they trailed by 52. To their credit, or the mercy of the Grizzlies, the margin never topped 55.

For a proud Warriors squad, there was an element of disgrace. And remorse.

“Slowing down, being more mindful, understanding we can get great shots if we’re a little bit more conscious of that, we keep saying that,” Curry said. “When we do it right, we win. When we don’t, we lose.”

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Curry is right. The Warriors battled turnovers and shot-selection issues at various times this season and again in the playoffs. They often find ways to overcome their weaknesses.

The Warriors were “pantsed” in public before their NBA peers watching on national TV. That can put a fine point on the urgent need for corrections.

At the very least, going into Game 6, it’s ought to be a motivating factor.

They should be rested. No one played more than 25 minutes, which on a night like this seems to be the prudent way to go.

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