After an exceptional match where the two teams went blow for blow for 42 minutes, it was finally the Warriors who had the last word. The Grizzlies have nothing to be ashamed of, however. They fought like devils and we will have to count on them in the coming seasons.
With Kevon Looney back in the starting lineup, the Warriors are off to the best start for the first time in the series (16-8). Draymond Green is much more aggressive and Klay Thompson starts with a 3/3 from a distance but 6 ball losses give 9 points to Memphis. Thanks to the duo Brooks – Bane, the Grizzlies pass in front but in the wake of an intractable Kevon Looney on the rebound and a 7 of 13 from afar, Golden State takes the lead (30-26).
While a splendid left hand pass from Jordan Poole leads to a new award-winning shot from Klay Thompson, the Grizzlies cash in without ever flinching. De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Clarke keep them in ambush before two straight winning shots from a hot-handed Dillon Brooks launch a 4-0 that sends a chill down the Chase Center (51-44)! Despite a festival of lost balloons, the Dubs avoided taking a splinter and it was their turn to hold on, before responding with a 9-0, thanks to a struggling Stephen Curry, to regain the advantage at halftime (53-51).
The crossover resumed with renewed vigor in the third quarter. Ten points from “Game 6 Klay” launch the Warriors but Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane respond to him to stay in contact (69-66). Golden State’s defense then increased in intensity with three stops in a row, but Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson chained three passes in the stands to keep the Grizzlies in the game (74-68). Five points from Desmond Bane end a 7-0 Memphis who take the lead but Curry responds to give the Dubs a point lead before the last quarter (78-77).
Klay Thompson and Dillon Brooks exchange sweet nothings and the tension rises two octaves as every point is worth gold. While a winning shot from Desmond Bane gave Memphis a two-point lead, it was Andrew Wiggins who sounded the revolt. He scores a 3-point shot, steals the ball in the hands of Brooks then goes to dunk, before making a new stop which leads to an award-winning shot from Stephen Curry. 8-0 in 70 seconds (95-89)!
With yet still six minutes to play, these three possessions rock the game. Suddenly, the Warriors’ offense regains its rhythm and their defense takes out the barbed wire! While Draymond Green and Kevon Looney are harvesting offensive rebounds, the “Splash Brothers” hit the mark from afar, especially Stephen Curry who scored 11 points in his last minutes. The Dubs turn that initial 8-0 into a 23-7 to end the game, while the Chase Center chants “Whoop That Trick”, and goes to the conference final for the first time since 2019!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Warriors tactical adjustment. Dominated inside since the return of Steven Adams, the Warriors returned to the traditional five with Kevon Looney at pivot. This change allowed them to control the rebound but they also chased Memphis insides on switches so they could attack them one-on-one, and force the Grizzlies to rotate to find open shots.
– Memphis misses an opportunity to take off. Behind for the first 18 minutes, the Grizzlies took Golden State’s award-winning shots and offensive rebounds without ever taking the water. Golden State’s many lost balls, coupled with Dillon Brooks’ address from afar, then allowed them to pass a 14-0 to their opponent to take a seven-point lead. The next three minutes will then be crucial. While the Warriors continue to rush and chain loose balls and forced shots, the Grizzlies miss the opportunity to put their heads under water. On the contrary, a flagrant foul on Dillon Brooks raises Golden State which ends the half with a 9-0.
– The decisive 70 seconds of Andrew Wiggins. With 6 minutes and 55 seconds to play, Desmond Bane made the atmosphere at the Chase Center unbreathable. His award-winning shot put the Grizzlies ahead, 89-87. With Curry in the tough and Thompson looking for the blow, it was finally Andrew Wiggins who took responsibility. Memphis purposely left it open, and at the end of possession, he answered Bane. We don’t know it yet but the Grizzlies will no longer pass in front. Wiggins continues with an interception, a dunk, and a stop on Brooks. It’s his four actions that will open the floodgates for Golden State and break the lock on the Grizzlies defense.
– 25 offensive rebounds for Golden State. The battle for possessions was key in this series. The Warriors again lost ball after ball, finishing with 19 total turnovers that gave the Grizzlies 18 points. However, they turned off the tap at the best time, losing only two balls in the last quarter. Opposite, it was the offensive rebound that ended up killing Memphis. The Warriors finished the game with 25 offensive rebounds, including 11 in the final quarter. During the first three quarters, Golden State could not capitalize on its second chances. The situation has also changed in the last few minutes. The Warriors won the rebound battle 70-44 (!!), with 22 rebounds for Kevon Looney, including 11 offensive, 16 for Draymond Green, and 10 for Andrew Wiggins. Between them, they took four more rebounds than Memphis… That’s l) that the game and the series were decided.
✅Kevon Looney. Back in the starting lineup to face Steven Adams, Kevon Looney put out the best performance of his career. He set a new career high with 22 rebounds, including 11 offensive, while playing 35 minutes, a record also for him. The Warriors can say thank you to him.
✅Klay Thompson. The legend of “Game 6 Klay” continues! While his “Splash Brother” and Jordan Poole were on the street, it was he who provided the scoring, scoring 27 of his 30 points in the first three quarters. He finished the match at 8 of 14 from afar. His intensity rubbed off on the Chase Center.
✅ Draymond Green. Unrecognizable in this series, the handyman was much more aggressive tonight, finishing with 14 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists. He also limited Jaren Jackson Jr to 5/19 on shots!
✅Andrew Wiggins. “Maple Jordan” was out tonight, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He was decisive on both sides of the pitch.
✅ Dillon Brooks. Booed throughout the game, Dillon Brooks, who was 18% from 3-pointers on the series, released a monstrous game. He finished as the Grizzlies’ leading scorer with 30 points at 7/15 from a distance.
✅ Desmond Bane. He continued his momentum from Game 5 to release a game worthy of his season, finishing with 25 points at more than 50% success.
✅ ⛔Stephen Curry. On the street for three quarters and without rhythm, he came out of his box at the best time to score 11 of his 29 points in the last six minutes to finish the job. He finished 10 of 27 on shots.
⛔ Jordan Poole – Jaren Jackson Jr. The two former teammates came through offensively. Poole finished at 4/15 on shots, Jackson Jr at 5/19.
The Warriors will play either the Suns or the Mavs in the Conference Finals.