Series Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Series Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Western Conference Semifinals Tip Off on Sunday Afternoon in Memphis
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DUBS SET FOR CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS SHOWDOWN WITH MEMPHIS
About 40 hours after their opponent for the Western Conference Semifinals was determined, the Warriors will tip off their series with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Dubs will play the first two games of the series on the road, with Game 1 tipping off on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

The third-seeded Dubs reached the second round of the postseason by winning their first round matchup with the Nuggets in five games, marking the team’s seventh appearance in the Conference Semifinals in the last 10 years. Since 2015, the Warriors have won 19 of their 21 postseason series, and during that stretch the team won three NBA Championships (2015, 2017, 2018) while making five straight trips to the NBA Finals (2015 through 2019).

While the Warriors have a veteran core with plenty of postseason experience – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala each have three Championship rings with the Dubs – the Grizzlies are a young and athletic bunch who just won their first postseason series since 2015. Memphis won the series clincher in Minnesota on Friday night, riding another dominant fourth quarter performance in the Game 6 win.

WARRIORS PLAYOFF WATCH PARTY AT THRIVE CITY
For all Warriors road games during the 2022 postseason, fans are invited to come to Thrive City for a Warriors Playoffs Watch Party, presented by Chase. The Game 1 Watch Party will provide a number of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, including the game being broadcast on the largest outdoor video board in San Francisco! Learn more about the Watch Party and RSVP at thrivecity.com.


A LOOK BACK AT ROUND 1
The Warriors won the first three games of their first round series with the Nuggets and ultimately closed it out on Wednesday with a 102-98 win in Game 5 at home. On a minutes restriction to start the series as he worked his way back from a foot sprain suffered in March, Stephen Curry came off the bench in the first four games before re-entering the starting lineup in Game 5. Curry led the team with 28 points per game in the series, and Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole also averaged over 20 points for the series. That trio combined to make over 11 3-pointers per game with each shooting better than 40 percent from distance. Draymond Green did his typical do-it-all duties, making game-winning plays on defense in addition to leading the team in assists in the series. Andrew Wiggins shot 53 percent from the floor in his first playoff series as a Warrior, and Gary Payton II helped put the series away with a clutch Game 5 performance that included his typical stellar defense along with two clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors’ 118 points per game were the most of all teams in the first round of the playoffs, and right behind them was the Grizzlies at 114.7 ppg. The Grizzlies were especially tough in the fourth quarter, as they overcame double-digit deficits in three of their four wins in their series with Minnesota. Second-year guard Desmond Bane led the team in scoring in the series with 23.5 points per game, while superstar Ja Morant wasn’t far behind with 22.4 points and his team-leading 10.5 assists. In addition, forward Brandon Clarke came through with several strong performances off the bench and Dillon Brooks made several clutch shots in a series where five of the six games were decided in crunch time.

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW MEM
PTS: 122.3 (1st) PTS: 115.0 (3rd)
REB: 34.7 (12th) REB: 43.7 (5th)
AST: 29.7 (1st) AST: 25.3 (5th)

PREVIOUS GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green
MEM: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson and Xavier Tillman

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: James Wiseman (right knee injury management) and Andre Iguodala (left cervical disc injury) are out. Team Notes

MEM: Steven Adams (health and safety protocols), Santi Aldama (right knee soreness), Killian Tillie (loer back procedure recovery) and Ziaire Williams (right knee soreness) are TBD. Team Notes

HISTORY WITH THE GRIZZLIES
The Warriors’ only prior postseason meeting with the Grizzlies occurred in 2015 when the Dubs won the final three games of a six-game series on the way to their first NBA Championship in 50 years. While the Warriors’ core is largely the same from that series seven years ago, the Grizzlies don’t have any remaining players from that era on their current roster. But Memphis does return several key players from the 2021 team that ended the Warriors’ season in the play-in tournament. In that game, Memphis center Xavier Tillman made a go-ahead 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:27 left in overtime, a stomach punch of a shot that led to a 117-112 defeat.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW DEN
PTS: Curry (28.0) PTS: Bane (23.5)
REB: Wiggins (6.8) REB: Clarke (9.0)
AST: Green (7.4) AST: Morant (10.5)

MATCHING UP WITH MEMPHIS
The Warriors lost three of their four games against the Grizzlies this season, with three of those four games gong down to the wire. Memphis handed the Dubs their first defeat of the season, 104-101, on Oct. 28 at Chase Center, but the Warriors returned the favor behind a 46-point masterpiece in a 113-104 home win on Dec. 23. The Grizzlies held off a late Warriors rally in a 116-108 win at Memphis on Jan. 11, and a shorthanded Dubs team was no match for Memphis in a 123-95 Dubs defeat in Memphis on March 28.

Curry averaged 36.3 points against Memphis this season and although he only played in one game against the Grizzlies, Klay Thompson was a plus-17, scoring 14 points in 20 minutes of the Jan. 11 defeat. Meanwhile, Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 26.7 points per game against the Dubs and second-year guard Desmond Bane made half of his 3-point attempts against Golden State.

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