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Game Preview: Warriors at Grizzlies - 10/21/17

The Warriors will complete their first of this season’s 14 back-to-backs – down from 17 last year – when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. This will be the first of three head-to-head meetings between the two teams this season, and it will also mark the Dubs’ lone trip to Memphis. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. and fans will be able to watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area or NBA TV (outside of Bay Area), or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game on the Warriors Radio Network.

Klay Thompson had the hot hand and the Warriors picked up their first win of the season with a 128-120 triumph in New Orleans on Friday. Thompson helped the Dubs overcome a slow start, as a combination of turnovers and red-hot Pelicans shooting left the Dubs in a 15-point hole early. But the Dubs recovered and took control of the game with a 30-7 run that bridged the second and third quarters. Full Recap

The Warriors split their four matchups with the Grizzlies during the 2016-17 season with each team winning one at home and one on the road. Memphis won the first two games of the season series, becoming one of two teams to beat the Dubs twice last season.

GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
MEM: Mike Conley, Andrew Harrison, James Ennis III, JaMychal Green and Marc Gasol

GSW: Andre Iguodala (back strain) and Draymond Green (left knee strain) are available to play. Omri Casspi (left ankle sprain) is out. Team Notes
MEM: JaMychal Green (left foot/ankle), Ben McLemore (right foot) and Wayne Selden (right quad) are out. Team Notes

The Warriors were a hair of a second away from starting their 2017-18 season with a victory, and their proficiency from three-point range was a big reason why. The Dubs made 11 of their 17 first half three-point attempts against the Rockets, and 16 of their 30 attempts from beyond the arc in the game. This is coming on the heels of a season in which Golden State ranked third in the NBA in three-point percentage and three-pointers made per game. The Pelicans, on the other hand, struggled from three-point range in their season-opening loss to the Grizzlies, making just seven of their 25 attempts from long distance. If such a disparity occurs on Friday, it could prove to be the difference in the game.

The Grizzlies enter Saturday’s matchup with a 1-0 record after taking down New Orleans, the Dubs’ Friday night opponent, on Wednesday behind a stellar bench effort in which Memphis reserves out-scored those of the Pelicans 53-8. Veteran guard Mike Conley led the way with 27 points in that game, while Dillon Brooks, a college teammate of Warriors rookie forward Jordan Bell, led three reserves in double figures with 19 points. As has been the case in recent seasons, Memphis will look for leadership from Conley and center Marc Gasol, but the team figures to have a different identity now that long-time Grizzlies players Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are playing elsewhere. The grit-and-grind Grizzlies of old may have a new look, but they still figure to be a potential playoff team after posting 43 regular season wins last season before falling to the Spurs in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

FUN FACT: Grizzlies radio broadcaster Eric Hasseltine is a native of Walnut Creek, Calif., and graduated from UC Davis.

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