Warriors fall in Memphis despite big nights from Monta, Curry

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Warriors fall in Memphis despite big nights from Monta, Curry

BOX SCORE

The Warriors got down big early, but came back and had opportunities to win. But they failed to get a key rebound off a miss, and David Lee committed an offensive foul on the games last possession one that could have given Golden State a victory.The loss was the Warriors third straight.Grizzlies 104, Warriors 103
Player of the game: Tony Allen followed up a Rudy Gay miss with 5.6 seconds remaining to give the Grizzlies a one-point win over the Warriors. It was the second time this season Memphis defeated the Warriors by one point.

Its the little things that either win or lose ballgames, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. We continue to find it out. There should be five guys in the lane chasing down that rebound. In the end, Tony Allen wanted it. Thats what winners do.

The final Warriors possession: On the Warriors final possession Lee committed an offensive foul with less than a second remaining, and the Grizzlies walked away with the victory.The play was Davids option, Jackson said. He turned the corner. a charge on the play. Thats what the call was. Once again, were in position to win the ballgame if we get a defensive rebound. Thats the disappointing part about it.Key stretch: The Warriors got off to an awful start in this one, showing very little intensity and wherewithal. They were completely manhandled on the interior and Marreese Speights came out of the gate with eight quick points.The Grizzlies also grabbed nine of the games first 10 rebounds, and adding to everything was that the Warriors missed 10 of their first 11 shots. All those ugly numbers helped the Grizzlies jump out to a 21-4 lead.The Warriors would eventually come back and even take an 11-point lead late in the third quarter. But they couldnt hold on. Then again, had they not gotten down so much so early, it might have been different late.The opposite of clutch: The Warriors have not fared well in close games this season and that was the case again on Saturday. The loss to Memphis dropped the Warriors record to 1-6 in games decided by three points or fewer.Currys slump: Point guard Stephen Curry was in a four-game shooting slump coming into Saturdays game against Memphis. Emphasis on was.After shooting 31.9 percent in the previous four games (15-of-47), Curry broke out in a big way and it started in the first half. Curry went 9-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range.The 23 points in a half were the most by Curry in a half in his career.Curry finished with 36 points, equaling the season-high he had against Denver.It was Currys shooting that was most responsible for the Warriors overcoming an 18-point deficit and heading into halftime up 56-54.Monta Ellis had 33 points for the Warriors.Uniform issues: The Warriors were wearing their home white jerseys despite playing on the road. The reason was because the Grizzlies were wearing Memphis Tams throwback jerseys.

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

It may have helped that they had been at home for roughly three weeks.

It surely was to their benefit that the NBA schedule provided three days without a game before they confronted perhaps one of the most rigorous weeks of the season.

The Warriors, however, still had to do the work. They still had to finish.

They still had to beat the team that had roughed them up 22 days earlier, and then squelch another squad coming into Oracle Arena on a wave of emotion and, finally, take to the road and get back at a team that handed them a loss in Oakland.

Done, done and done. And in such a fashion that forward Draymond Green referred to it as “our best week of the season.”

In putting away the Rockets 125-108 on Friday in Houston, the Warriors closed out the traditional worker’s week with a 3-0 record against three teams they could see in the postseason. They’d already routed the defending champion Cavaliers 126-91 on Monday and struck down the Thunder 121-101 on Wednesday.

“It’s three good teams in a row,” Kevin Durant told reporters in Houston. “We definitely wanted to come out and make a nice statement, and I think we did that.

“We always can get better. We can’t relax against Orlando, Miami and Charlotte, teams that can creep up on you and have been playing well lately.”

The Magic, Heat and Hornets -- all dreadful to mediocre -- are the kinds of teams that force the Warriors to compete. They don’t stir the senses like the Cavs or the Thunder or the Rockets, three teams with credentials that demand attention from a Warriors team that sometimes cruises against lesser competition.

So this week was not just about winning games. These weren’t just wins, they were emphatic statements, profound evidence that the team remodeled last summer around the addition of Durant is coming together in the heart of the season.

The defense was tight, with Cleveland shooting 35.2 percent, OKC 42.2 percent and Houston 20.0 percent from beyond the arc, which is the only place that matters for the Rockets.

The Warriors resorted to one of their signature turbocharged third quarters to separate from the Rockets. Shooting 61.9 percent and scoring 9 points off Houston turnovers, the Warriors outscored Houston 37-22 in the third, stretching a five-point halftime lead to 20 going into the fourth quarter.

The Warriors now have an NBA-best differential of plus-250 points in the third quarter this season.

“It’s just something that we put an emphasis on,” Green said. “Coming out and getting off to a good start in the second half. Not coming out flat and giving another team life or letting them go on a run and then trying to make it up. And once we go on our run, we can get rolling pretty well and make it tough on other teams.”

That was the case this week, as the Warriors topped 50 percent from the field in all three victories.

Durant scored 32 points against Houston and averaged 31 points over the last three games. Stephen Curry put in 24 points and averaged 22.7 for the week. Green, meanwhile, averaged 12.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 3.7 blocks.

“It was our best week of the season because we’ve gotten better each time we’ve stepped on the floor this week,” Green said. “And that’s what’s most important. It’s not about blasting these three teams. It’s about getting better, and trying to reach our end goal. In order to do that, you have to get better each and every time you step on the floor.

“We did that these three games, so that’s the most important thing. That’s why it’s been a good week, not because of the margin of the wins that we had.”

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

BOX SCORE

The Warriors avenged yet another loss Friday night, rolling into Houston and laying a 125-108 beating on the Rockets at Toyota Center.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Kevin Durant totaling 32 points to lead the way. Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, Klay Thompson with 16, Draymond Green with 15 and Zaza Pachulia added 10.

The Warriors (37-6) suffocated Houston’s high-powered offense, which is predicated on 3-point shooting, holding the Rockets to 20 percent (7-of-35) beyond the arc. The Warriors forced 15 turnovers, off which they scored 19 points.

Backup center Clint Capela scored 22 points to lead Houston (33-13). MVP candidate James Harden was held to 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point distance.

Having beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the Warriors this week evened the ledger against two elite teams. They lost to Houston on Dec. 1 in Oakland, 132-127, in double overtime that accounted for one of only three losses at Oracle Arena.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

The entire starting lineup played well, but Durant proved too much for anything the Rockets threw at him.

Durant’s line: 32 points (12-of-19 shooting from the field, including 2-of-7 from deep, 6-of-7 from the line), seven assists, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-25 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After Houston trimmed their lead to five (64-59) with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 23-8 run, punctuated by a 28-foot 3-pointer by Curry to go up 87-67 with 5:58 left in the quarter.

The Warriors led by 20 entering the fourth quarter, and the Rockets got no closer than 15 over the final 12 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: C/F David West (L thumb fracture) was listed as out.

Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (flu) was listed as questionable but upgraded to available. He was in the starting lineup, but played only nine minutes before leaving for good.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Sunday in Orlando, where they face the Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Pacific.