Game 5 Preview: Warriors at Grizzlies

Game 5 Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies - 5/11/22

Dubs One Win Away from Advancing to Western Conference Finals
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A CHANCE TO CLOSE IT OUT IN MEMPHIS
After a down-to-the-wire win in Game 4 at home, the Warriors head to Memphis with a 3-1 series lead and a chance to finish off the Grizzlies in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Three of the four games in this Western Conference Semifinals series have been decided in the final minutes, as Games 1, 2 and 4 were decided by one, five and three points, respectively. The Warriors, who won Game 1 in Memphis, have won a road game in 25 straight playoff series, and they’ll look to get a second road win in what is sure to be a tough road environment.

LAST TIME OUT
Head Coach Steve Kerr missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day, Draymond Green was dealing with the death of a close friend and former college teammate and the Warriors missed their first 15 3-point attempts. But the Warriors overcame all of that and recovered from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter in Monday’s 101-98 win over the Grizzlies in Game 4. The Warriors took their first lead of the game on a pair of Stephen Curry free throws with 45.7 seconds left, and Curry put the game away with more free throws, as he scored 18 of his 32 points in the final period. » Full Game Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW MEM
PTS: 116.8 (1st) PTS: 112.0 (2nd)
REB: 41.7 (7th) REB: 45.2 (3rd)
AST: 28.9 (1st) AST: 24.4 (5th)

WIGGINS THE UNSUNG PLAYOFF HERO
Playing in the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his career, Andrew Wiggins has been a consistent force for the Warriors this postseason. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds on Monday night for the first playoff double-double of his career, and he’s averaged 16.8 points this series and has been the team’s leading rebounder this postseason (7.1 rpg). On a night where the Warriors were struggling to make shots, Wiggins shot better than 50 percent in Game 4 and was the team’s second leading scorer behind Curry. In addition, Wiggins’ ability to defend multiple positions has been huge for the Warriors, and his toughness, athleticism and hustle have combined in extending several Warriors possessions, not to mention some standout plays this series.

The Grizzlies have the size advantage, but the Warriors have outrebounded Memphis in each of the first four games of this series, and Wiggins is one of the reasons behind that success.

PREVIOUS GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Draymond Green
MEM: Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams

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

MEM: Ja Morant (right knee bone bruise), Santi Aldama (right knee soreness) and Killian Tillie (lower back procedure recovery) are out. Team Notes

FOURTH QUARTER DUBS
The Warriors have a reputation for changing the game with big third quarters, but it’s been their fourth quarter efforts that have been the difference in this series. The Warriors combined for 80 points in the fourth quarters of Games 3 and 4 and are averaging 32.5 points in the quarter this series, more than any other period. On Monday, the Warriors were 10-for-17 shooting (58.8 percent) from the floor and 4-for-8 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, whereas up to that point the team was shooting just 35.6 percent and 17.2 percent on 3-pointers. Playing Game 5 on the road against an opponent who has its back against the wall is sure to be a challenge, but the Dubs have demonstrated a clutch gene in this series, and that can very well come in handy on Wednesday.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW MEM
PTS: Curry (28.1) PTS: Morant (27.1)
REB: Wiggins (7.1) REB: Morant (8.0)
AST: Green (6.7) AST: Morant (9.8)

MEMPHIS SCOUTING REPORT
The Grizzlies enter Game 5 needing a win on their home floor to extend their season and push the series back to San Francisco. The big story around the club is Ja Morant, who was sidelined for Monday’s Game 4 and is doubtful for the remainder of the playoffs with a right knee bone bruise. Even without their superstar, the Grizzlies have proven to be quite the challenge. Memphis went 20-5 without Morant during the regular season, and that success is one of the top reasons why Memphis was able to secure the second best record in the NBA. The numbers show that the Grizzlies are a much improved defensive team without Morant on the floor, and that Memphis defense as a whole has given the Warriors fits. Steven Adams adds to the Grizzlies’ defensive presence, as the center came through with a double-double after not playing significant minutes in the team’s prior playoff games. Offensively, Memphis leaned on Jaren Jackson Jr., who paced the team with 21 points and Tyus Jones replaced Morant in the starting lineup and finished with 19 points. A back injury and strong defense from Stephen Curry kept Desmond Bane, Memphis’ leading scorer in their first round series, from getting on track, and Dillon Brooks struggled offensively in his return to the lineup after serving a suspension for Game 3. The Grizzlies were a better home team than they were on the road during the regular season, and that’ll need to be the case on Wednesday should they want to extend this series.

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