Draymond Green handed the ball off to Klay Thompson and immediately set a screen on the Splash Brother’s defender. Thompson dribbled once around the screen before jumping off his left foot and launching the unorthodox 3-pointer from straight away as he drifted to his left. The shot swished through the net, sending the Chase Center crowd into a frenzy.
It was that kind of night for the Warriors, who took a 2-1 series lead with Saturday’s 142-112 win over the Grizzlies at Chase Center.
The Warriors shot better than 70 percent from the floor in the first half and we’re at 65 percent through three quarters before ultimately finishing at 63.1 percent for the game, including 17-for-32 on 3-pointers.
Stephen Curry made all 14 of his free throw attempts and led the way with 30 points and six assists, but his shooting percentage of 50 percent was the worst among the Warriors’ starting five. Jordan Poole scored 27 points off the bench and Klay Thompson bounced back from his rough shooting performance in Memphis with a very efficient 21 points on 13 shots.
FLIRTING WITH HISTORY
The Warriors shot 53-for-84 for the game, and the .631 shooting percentage was tied for the 12th highest in NBA history. Phoenix shot 64.5 percent from the floor in Wednesday’s win over Dallas, and before that, the last team to shoot a higher percentage than the Warriors on Saturday was … the Warriors in on April 23, 2013, in Denver (64.6 percent). In addition, the Warriors’ 142 points were the second most they’ve ever had in a playoff game, behind only the 143 they scored in a Game 2 win over the St. Louis Hawks in the 1967 Western Division Finals.
“Tonight, we found great shots,” said Draymond Green, who finished with five points and a game-high eight assists. “We didn’t just settle for good shots, we found great shots and they went in.”
WEATHERING THE STORM
Although the Warriors had it clicking, it didn’t start out the way. With three full days off between games, the Warriors missed three of their first four shot attempts and struggled early with turnovers. On the other side, Memphis came out on fire from the perimeter. Four Grizzlies players combined to make six of their first eight 3-point attempts, helping the Grizzlies jump out to a 13-point advantage in the first period.
But the Warriors would soon find a rythem offensively, and they spent the remainder of the quarter chipping away at the deficit. By the time the first quarter had ended, the Dubs were within two points after Stephen Curry capped a 15-5 quarter-closing run with a 3-pointer in the final second of the period.
That run to end the first quarter stretched into a 25-7 spurt in the second period. The Warriors took the lead for good during that run, and Otto Porter Jr. had his fingerprints all over that game-changing sequence, making hustle plays and knocking down 3-point shots. Porter finished with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, and his three made 3-pointers were the most he’s had since Jan. 23. Porter started the second half, and he wound up being a plus-30 in his 24 minutes of game action.
BREAKING THE GAME OPEN
The Warriors took a seven-point lead into halftime and broke the game open with a 10-0 burst to open the third period. Thompson didn’t attempt a three in the first half but knocked down three of them in the third period, including that one-footer shown above. Curry had 10 of his 30 points in the third quarter, and Poole added cushion to the Warriors’ advantage by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second half.
One of the storylines heading into this game was who would start in place of Gary Payton II, who suffered a fractured elbow in the opening minutes of Game 2 on Tuesday in Memphis. Nineteen-year-old rookie Jonathan Kuminga got the first five call for the Dubs, making him the youngest player to start a playoff game since the NBA began tracking player ages in 1971. Kuminga scored the first four points for the Warriors, with both shots coming at the rim, and he used a strong fourth quarter to finish with 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting.
MORANT LEAVES GAME WITH RIGHT KNEE INJURY
Memphis guard Ja Morant had a game-high 34 points and seven assists before exiting the game in the fourth quarter with a right knee injury. The severity of the injury and Morant’s status moving forward will certainly be something to follow in the days ahead, as he has averaged 38.3 points over the first three games of the series.
GAME 4 ON MONDAY
The Warriors are now 4-0 at Chase Center this postseason, and they’ll look to remain undefeated at home when the series continues with Game 4 on Monday night.
More Notables ...
- The Warriors’ 78 second-half points matched the franchise’s all-time record for points scored in any playoff half (78 on 4/1/67 vs. St. Louis).
- The Warriors improved to 13-9 in Game 3s dating back to 2015 and 36-32 in Game 3s all-time.
- Golden State’s 142 were the most scored by any team in the current postseason so far (prev. (prev. Philadelphia, 132, at Toronto on 4/28/22).
- The Warriors’ 30-point win marks their largest margin of victory in a playoff game since a franchise-playoff-record 41-point win (126-85) vs. Houston on May 20, 2018… Tonight marks the ninth time in Warriors history the team has won a playoff game by at least 30 points.
- The Warriors dished out a 2022 Playoff-high 34 assists… It’s the third time in the playoffs the Warriors have recorded at least 30 assists (3-0 in those games)… The Warriors are 26-2 in playoff games they dish out at least 30 assists dating back to the 2015 postseason.
- Golden State scored 41 points in the fourth quarter, the most points scored in a fourth quarter by the Warriors in a playoff or regular season game this year (prev. 33 in the playoffs, 38 in the regular season).
- The Warriors 17 made threes were one shy of their 2022-playoff high mark of 18 on 4/21 at DEN.
- Golden State sold out its 422nd consecutive game (regular season and playoffs).
- Stephen Curry scored a team-high 30 points, his fourth 30-point outing of the 2022 Playoffs… Curry made two 3-pointers, extending his NBA Playoff-record 3-point streak to 120 consecutive games… He made all 14 free throw attempts, just two free throws shy of the Warriors’ franchise record he holds for the most free throws made without a miss – 16, May 3, 2014 at L.A. Clippers…. Curry passed Paul Pierce (3,180) to move into 22nd on the NBA Playoffs career points scored list.
- Jonathan Kuminga tallied a playoff-career high 18 points (prev. nine, twice)… Tonight marked his first-career postseason start.
- Jordan Poole recorded his third-straight 20 point outing and fifth of the postseason overall.
- Klay Thompson recorded his fourth game of 20-or-more points this postseason… He grabbed a 2022 playoff-high-tying nine rebounds (4/27 vs. DEN).
- Otto Porter Jr. posted a 2022 postseason-high 13 points… His three makes from 3-point range on five attempts are both highs for the current postseason as well.
- Moses Moody tallied a playoff-career high five points in his third-career playoff appearance (prev. one on 4/16 vs. DEN).