Warriors snap losing streak with 114-95 win in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tennessee - With Alec Burks leading the offense, the Warriors finally put together a team effort to end their seven-game slide.
Burks scored a season-high 29 points, Glenn Robinson III added 20 and the Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-95 on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been competing, and I think this is probably one of the first games in a little while that we’ve put a full game together,” said Marquese Chriss, later adding: “I’m just happy we won, to be honest. I could have not scored, and we had won, I’d have been all right. I think tonight was just fun for everybody.”
Chriss and Eric Paschall each had 17 points for the Warriors. Draymond Green was just short of his 24th career triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Rookie Ja Morant scored 20 points for Memphis, while Dillon Brooks finished with 18. Brandon Clarke added 17 and Jae Crowder had 15 points along with 11 rebounds as Memphis lost its second straight.
Even undermanned, the Warriors were able to cause enough problems for Memphis that the game was pretty much over before halftime. The Warriors built their 61-46 halftime lead behind Memphis’ poor shooting and poor defense. Much like its blowout loss to Denver on Sunday, Memphis’ problems were evident in the second quarter when Golden State outscored the Grizzlies 26-4 to open the frame.
“We started putting stops together,” Green said. “Once we started putting stops together, we were able to get out and get some buckets in transition. Get the game in our pace. When you are putting three, four stops in a row together, you are able to open the lead up.”
Memphis got the deficit to single digits late in the third quarter for the only time in the second half, but Golden State never let the Grizzlies threaten in the fourth. The second-quarter onslaught left Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins talking in the same terms as he did in Sunday’s 131-114 loss to Denver: opponents hungry for a win, setting the tone early, then taking the game to another level, a level Memphis couldn’t match.
“We started missing shots, and they were getting out and running on us,” Jenkins said. “But I felt like they played at a different level than us.”
For the Warriors, that “level” represented the first win since Nov. 14 against Portland.
“Losing sucks,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said candidly. “When you lose seven in a row, it’s miserable. Tonight, our players were rewarded, and now, hopefully, we can kind of use this as some momentum and get some more wins.”
With his second block of the game, Green passed Andris Biedrins (580) for fifth on the Warriors’ career blocks list. ... Robinson is the only Golden State player to start all 15 games this season. ... The Warriors continued to have seven players listed as “out” because of injuries, including Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), D’Angelo Russell (right hand sprain) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab).
A Warrior scare
With seven players sitting out, the Warriors bench took a collective gasp in the third quarter when Green went down under the Grizzlies basket holding his elbow. He came to the bench, but eventually returned in the fourth quarter. “It’s a little sore, but it’s all right,” Green said after the game. “It just felt like a bruising pain, so I knew I would play through it.” Chriss was a little more worried at the time of the injury. “I can’t curse because I don’t want to get in trouble, but I was mad,” Chriss said. “It seems like that’s the type of things that are happening right now.”
The Warriors announced Tuesday that Kevon Looney, who has missed the last ?13 games (neuropathy) and Alen Smailagic, out since the preseason with a sprained right ankle, have been cleared to begin accelerated on-court basketball activities and will work out with the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.