The Golden State Warriors, lead by NBA MVP Stephen Curry, took a commanding 3-2 Western Conference semifinal series lead in their 98-78 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5, ESPN reported. Curry had 18 points, making six 3-pointers. Klay Thompson had 21 points, ending his scoring drought in the Western Conference Semifinal series.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said about the first quarter in Game 5:
“Yeah, the first ten minutes were not pretty… The crowd was anxious. I thought we were a little tight. I thought we came out a little nervous. We settled in there. That was the key stretch of the game in the first quarter. We were down 10, 12 [points], to actually having the lead. I though it was a miracle having the lead after the first quarter the way that game went. But it was an important stretch. We seemed to get our legs underneath us at that point and that’s when our defense really kicked in.”
The Warriors struggled in the beginning of the first quarter, finding themselves down more than 10 points in the first 10 minutes. Curry and company, though, made stops on the defensively and turned them into points on the offensive end.
Stephen Curry said about the game-play in Game 5:
“You feel the energy of the crowd, and I was getting some clean looks… So you make a couple, keep being aggressive and just try to read the situation in every possession. I was able to get free off some great screens in Draymond [Green] and [Andrew] Bogut.”
The Warriors regained the lead at the end of the first quarter. Despite being up by only one point at the start of the second quarter, the Warriors never looked back, keeping and extending their lead. The Warriors managed to keep the Grizzlies, who were minus Tony Allen, under 80-points.
“That’s our brand of basketball… We got a couple of stops and all of a sudden the game started changing,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “It’s tough for anybody to keep up with us in transition, but that has to start on the defensive end.”
The Warriors now return back to Memphis to try to end the series in Game 6. A win in Memphis on Friday would put the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, a feat Golden State has not accomplished and one that the Bay Area has been waiting for years.
[Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport]