Game 6 Klay: Thompson leads Warriors past Grizzlies, within one series of sixth West title in eight years


Stephen Curry missed. Kevon Looney fought between two Grizzlies to grab an offensive rebound. The Warriors swung the ball back to Curry, who got into trouble dribbling behind his back then had a pass deflected. Looney recovered the ball, and Golden State swung it back again to Curry, who missed another jumper. Looney chased down another offensive rebound. This time, he passed to Klay Thompson, who swished a 3-pointer.

Sloppy with the ball, committed on the glass, mostly ugly, but pretty in the end – especially when featuring Thompson.

Thompson scored 30 points to lead the Warriors to a 110-96 win Friday, eliminating Memphis 4-2 in the second-round series. Golden State, which won five straight Western Conference crowns 2015-2019, returns to the Western Conference finals and will face the Suns-Mavericks winner.

The Warriors could make it six straight Western Conference titles in years Thompson has played. Thompson, who missed the prior two seasons with a torn ACL and torn Achilles, ensured Golden State has the opportunity with yet another big Game 6. Already known for his virtuoso Game 6s over the years, Thompson was a steadying force for a team that badly needed it.

After getting embarrassed in Game 5, the Warriors were so sloppy tonight (17 turnovers) against a Grizzlies team still missing Ja Morant. The game was within single digits until Golden State went on a 21-3 run late in the fourth quarter. Thompson’s triple seen above was the penultimate shot of the run. Then, Curry hit a 3-pointer to put the game and series to bed:

Thompson was the Warriors’ lone quality scorer throughout the game. Their All-Stars – Curry (15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the final 14 minutes, 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting prior) and Andrew Wiggins (15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the final 22 minutes, three points on 1-of-9 shooting prior) – finally heated up late.

Draymond Green (14 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists) and Kevon Looney (22 rebounds and five assists) showed great vision, chasing down rebounds and passing. Those bigs did the dirty work, including defending the paint, that made a win possible despite the Warriors’ mostly slipshod performance.

Wiggins (10 rebounds), Thompson (eight rebounds) and Curry (seven rebounds) also contributed to a dominant performance on the glass. Golden State grabbed 25 offensive rebounds to Memphis’ 34 defensive rebounds and 45 defensive rebounds to Memphis’ 10 offensive rebounds (a 70-44 overall rebounding edge).

But Dillon Brooks (30 points on 28 shots) and Desmond Bane (25 points on 16 shots) did plenty to prevent the Warriors from putting the Grizzlies away. Golden State would surely like to be finished with Memphis for a while. Especially Brooks. Already a villain for his dirty hit on Gary Payton II, Brooks got another flagrant foul for pushing Curry:

Yet, the Warriors probably can’t escape the Grizzlies for long. Golden State can re-take its throne atop the Western Conference. This wasn’t Memphis’ year. But the young Grizzlies are charging hard.