Game Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies - 5/16/21
The regular season finale between the Warriors and Grizzlies will determine who gets eighth place in the West, and the corresponding favorable position in the Play-In Tournament.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SUNDAY
After weeks of a back-and-forth race to settle seeding in the Play-In Tournament, the ongoing battle between the Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies will finally be decided Sunday afternoon as the two teams go head-to-head in the regular season finale. At stake on Sunday is eighth place in the West, which comes with the more favorable position in the Play-In Tournament, needing only one win to get a playoff spot. The loser of Sunday’s showdown will fall to ninth place, and that team will need to win twice in order to grab the final playoff spot in the West. Both teams go into Sunday as winners of five straight, the longest active streaks in the NBA, and both clubs are 38-33, which adds only more intrigue to what’s set up to be the most dramatic regular season finale in recent Warriors history. Read more on the Warriors’ playoff/play-in picture.
LAST TIME OUT
Jordan Poole scored a career-high 38 points, including the go-ahead shot with 21 seconds left, and Mychal Mulder came through with a career-best 28 points as the Warriors won their fifth straight game with a 125-122 win over the Pelicans on Friday night at Chase Center. » Full Game Recap
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
|8th in West||9th in West|
|PTS: 113.7 (12th)||PTS: 113.5 (14th)|
|REB: 43.0 (22nd)||REB: 46.6 (4th)|
|AST: 27.7 (1st)||AST: 26.9 (3rd)|
GSW: Stephen Curry, Kent Bazemore, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney
MEM: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonas Valanciunas
INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Damion Lee (Health and Safety Protocols), Kelly Oubre Jr. (left wrist soreness), Klay Thompson (right Achilles surgery recovery) and James Wiseman (right knee meniscus tear) are out. Team Notes
MEM: TBD. Team Notes
POOLE’S CAREER-HIGH NIGHT
Warriors guard Jordan Poole is picking the right time of year to put together his best stretch of basketball of the season. In addition to getting the game-winning shot and finishing with a career-high 38 points on Friday, Poole is riding three straight games with at least 20 points. Moreover, he is averaging 21.6 points over the last five games, providing consistent scoring on the drive and from the perimeter in these crucial late-season games. While Curry vs. Morant will be the headlined matchup going into Sunday, Poole has proven that he can be a difference-maker when given the opportunity. “He's doing a great job,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said following Friday’s win. “It's really fun to see how far Jordan has come in his two years in the league.”
|PTS: Curry (31.8)||PTS: Morant (19.2)|
|REB: Green (7.1)||REB: Valanciunas (12.5)|
|AST: Green (8.9)||AST: Morant (7.4)|
MEMPHIS SCOUTING REPORT
It is no secret what the Memphis Grizzlies’ plan of attack is: they will look for shots in and around the paint. The team is among the top of the NBA in 2-point shots attempted and made, while also being among the bottom 10 clubs in 3-pointers taken and splashed. Key to this is the interior game of center Jonas Valanciunas, who averages 16.9 points and 12.5 rebounds, along with the driving and dishing of reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, who leads the team with both 19.2 points and 7.4 assists. Like the Warriors, the Grizzlies have won five straight coming into the critical final game of the regular season on Sunday, winning three of those games by six or less points. After sitting eight players Friday against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, they will be well rested when they clash with the Warriors at Chase Center.
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