Warriors advance to Western final, beating Memphis 108-95
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 32 points, including a 62-footer to end the third quarter, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to their first Western Conference finals since 1976 by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 108-95 on Friday night.
They advanced with some of the best shooting in the NBA postseason since 1985, becoming the first team since that year to hit 14 or more 3s in three consecutive playoff games. Curry was 8 of 13 from beyond the arc as the Warriors knocked down a playoff-best 15 3-pointers, closing out Memphis with their third straight win.
Curry, who had 10 assists, had the shot of the night after Andre Iguodala blocked Jeff Green's shot near midcourt. Curry grabbed the loose ball and beat the buzzer from the Grizzlies' 3-point line for a 76-68 lead. Klay Thompson had 20 points, Draymond Green added 16, Harrison Barnes 13 and Shaun Livingston 10.
The Warriors will play the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers-Houston Rockets series in the conference finals. The conference finals will start Tuesday night at Golden State.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Vince Carter added 16 off the bench, Zach Randolph had 15, Courtney Lee 12 and Mike Conley 11.
Curry finished the series with 25 3-pointers, one more than the Grizzlies managed. When he beat the buzzer with that long 3, he celebrated by bumping chests with Iguodala and David Lee. He then added 11 points in the fourth quarter to finish off the Grizzlies.
That stellar shooting helped the Warriors win a second series in the same postseason for the first time since capturing the title in 1975, and they never trailed in this game.
The Warriors outshot, outrebounded and simply did everything better than Memphis, looking like the team that dominated the NBA regular season. Golden State led 32-19 by the end of the first quarter and Memphis had one more field goal (7) than the Warriors had 3-pointers (6). The Splash Brothers outscored the Grizzlies by themselves combining for 22 points.
But Curry and Thompson got plenty of help with teammates taking turns knocking down shots.
Memphis tried to rally, opening the third quarter with a 13-5 spurt with two free throws by Green pulling the Grizzlies within 63-62 with 3:59 left. Green hit a jumper to get them within 65-64 before the Warriors finished the quarter on an 11-4 run capped by Curry's amazing 3. Memphis got within eight with 6:03 left and got no closer as Curry knocked down consecutive 3s.
Warriors: Curry had been 0 for 32, 0 of 3 in the playoffs, on shots from the backcourt before his 62-footer. ... They are 13-7 all-time in Game 6s and improved to 9-2 in their last 11. ... They are 7-0 in these playoffs when leading at halftime.
Grizzlies: Tony Allen, who had 24 steals in his first nine playoff games, tried to play with the injured left hamstring that kept him out of Game 5. But he played only 5 minutes before going to the bench for the night, unable to move effectively. ... Memphis had only three turnovers. ... Memphis is 4-2 all-time in Game 6s, losing its last two.
The Grizzlies played a video tribute and held a moment of silence before the national anthem in memory of musician B.B. King, who died late Thursday at the age of 89. King got his nickname early in his career playing live in Memphis as the "Beale Street Blues Boy," which later was shortened to B.B.