Grizzlies vs Warriors Recap: The Smash Brothers > The Splash Brothers
Any doubts whatsoever about the ability of this Grizzlies team to dominate in the heavily stacked Western Conference should be dispelled after Tuesday night’s beat down of Golden State.
It’s been said that the Golden State Warriors are the NBA’s media darlings.
If so, then the Grizzlies are the league’s ugly stepchild, and Tuesday night was our Cinderella moment.
As a small market team with a decidedly ugly style of play, we don’t get a lot of national media exposure, but when we do we make it count.
This matchup between the current top two teams in the league promised to be a good game to watch, and we were not disappointed. Both teams are defensive stalwarts, but their offensive strengths are complete opposites, with Golden State relying heavily on outside shooting and Memphis preferring to finish in the paint or at the rim.
The Warriors have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, also referred to as the Splash Brothers, who are among the top in the league for most 3 point shots attempted.
The Grizzlies have Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who are now being referred to as the Smash Brothers, which is very apropos after smashing the Warriors 16 game winning streak in front of ESPN and everyone.
Klay Thompson would lead all Golden State scorers with 22 points, and 4 of 5 shooting from three and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Steph Curry made 19 points the hard way, and was held to 1 of 10 from beyond the arc. Former Grizzly Marreese Speights put in a respectable 18 points, shooting 50% from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line.
In the end, it wouldn’t be enough to stop the Grizzlies. Are you sensing a theme here yet?
While the end of the first quarter would find Memphis down six, the Grizzlies would come out hard with a 20-0 run in the first five minutes of the 2nd quarter, obliterating the lead the Warriors built. When it was over, the Grizzlies had built their largest lead of the night at 14 points, nine of those coming from three consecutive 3 point makes by Vince Carter.
Vinsanity was in full effect, and Carter finished the game with a season high 16 points, 12 of those coming from beyond the arc.
The Warriors would chip away at the lead the Grizzlies built in that 2nd quarter for the rest of the night, even coming within 2, but Golden State never regained the lead.
The Grizzlies bench stepped up in a big way tonight, most notably during the aforementioned 20-0 run to start the second quarter, facilitated in great part by Beno Udrih. In fact, Beno had a hand in every scoring play in the sequence, either directly as the scorer, or indirectly with an assist.
One of the things that makes this team so great right now is Dave Joerger’s uncanny ability to switch modes and utilize the bench in different ways to generate an edge that other teams struggle against.
There are things players do that can’t really be shown on a stat line, ways that our guys work together and help each other. Even when someone like Kosta Koufos isn’t making a tremendous contribution to the point total, his impact can still be felt in other ways that are perhaps just as meaningful.
With the Grizzlies, it truly is a collective effort, and that makes it easier to compensate for when a key player has an off night.
In addition to the great work done by the bench unit, 3 out of 5 starters ended the game in double digits.
Marc Gasol was the leading scorer for the Grizzlies, and led all scorers with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Zach Randolph and Mike Conley both finished with 17 points.
Zach added to that 10 rebounds to add another double-double game, and Mike helped out on both ends of the court with 5 assists and 4 steals.
It was a fun game to watch from start to finish, and the atmosphere inside the Grindhouse took it to a whole other level. A win is a win, but this one looked and felt great.
Final Score: Grizzlies 105, Warriors 98