SAN FRANCISCO – Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry were double trouble tonight. The Splash Brothers put on a show to close out the series with a 110-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies to advance to Western Conference Finals.
Thomspson scored 30 points and hit eight three’s. He went 11-for-22 and 8-for-14 from the arc. Curry finished with 29 points. It was an unbelievable fourth quarter where Golden State rallied late in the period to pull away from a Grizzlies team that dominated for most of the game.
“We went on a two-year hiatus from the playoffs mostly due to his absence,” said Draymond Green on Thompson’s performance. “I tell y’all all the time, he’s one of the toughest and most competitive player I’ve ever played with and it showed tonight. You knew right away he was coming out with fire.”
Andrew Wiggins hit a 3, forced a turnover and finished the play with a dunk. That gave the Warriors a 92-89 lead. Wiggins scored 10 points in the fourth to help the Warriors seal their victory. He finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“Andrew was special tonight, he’s been such a great player for us,” Thompson said. “We would not be where we are without Andrew.”
The Grizzlies dominated the paint, got rebounds and made three’s throughout the game. Dillion Brooks didn’t miss, he finished with 30 points and Desmond Bane had 25 points. But that wasn’t enough to stop Golden State’s late fourth quarter rally in the final 12 minutes. Kevon Looney grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds.
Looney is the first player to grab at least 22 boards in a playoff game since Larry Smith grabbed 23 rebounds on May 12, 1987 at the Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors 70 rebounds are the most in a playoff game since May 4, 1983 (SAS, 75 vs DEN). Golden State’s 25 offensive boards are the most in a playoff game since may 12, 1987 (26 vs LAL).
“Holy moly 22 boards! I don’t know when the last time somebody had 22 boards?” said Interim Head coach Mike Brown. “I think what’s more impressive than 22 boards, I think I ran him 17 minutes straight. After the first five he looked like he was dying and then the next two he looked worse, I kept saying ‘hold on Loon, hold on and he did.’”
The Warriors have advanced to the Conference Finals in six of the last eight seasons, marking the first time in 30 years a Western Conference team has accomplished the feat (the Los Angeles Lakers made nine Conference Finals appearances in a 10-year span from 1982-91). Golden State is the first team in either conference to make six appearances in an eight-year span since the Detroit Pistons did so in six-straight seasons from 2003-08.
The Warriors will match up with the winner of the Western Conference Semifinal between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. Golden State defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2 in the Semifinals and own an 8-3 (.727) record during the 2022 postseason, tied with Miami for the best mark in this year’s NBA Playoffs.
“It’s unbelievable knowing what we’ve been through these last few years and six out of the last eight,” Curry said. “We have an opportunity to play for the Finals.
It’s definitely special, never take it for granted and understand this is what it’s all about. For us to have another opportunity to get four more wins and play for a trophy, that’s special.
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