Image Source: NBC Sports
Steph Curry made history by becoming the first player in NBA history to make 500 career playoff threes on Monday, scoring 32 points and dishing out eight assists to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 101-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a one-game lead in the Western Conference finals.
With 45.7 seconds remaining, the out-of-sorts Warriors pulled away from the Grizzlies, gaining their first lead of the night and establishing a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Curry scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 90 with 3:25 remaining, then hit eight key free throws in the last minute to put his team ahead.
Curry told reporters after the game, “Nothing we figured out, it was simply don’t let the first three quarters impact the fact that we still had a chance to win the game.” “Shoot the shots you think you can make, play aggressively, and keep the ball in your possession.” All of those things were accomplished.
Coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for COVID-19 two hours before tip-off and was unable to take his position on the bench, made Golden State’s mission even more difficult. When Kerr was out, Mike Brown, who will take over as head coach of the Sacramento Kings next season and previously led the Warriors to an 11-0 record during their 2017 title run when Kerr was out, took his place.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson stated, “I believe his head coaching record for a Warrior playoff game is unblemished.” “We missed Steve a lot, simply his voice, his presence, but we’ve been here before, in 2017 when Mike took over and we had a lot of wins, so I reflected a lot on it.”
Due to their terrible shooting, neither side was able to break away, as neither shot 42 percent from the field or 26 percent from beyond the arc. Until Otto Porter Jr. drilled a three with 3:24 left in the second quarter, the Warriors were 0-15 from beyond the arc. Thompson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds despite missing all seven of his three-point attempts.
The Warriors’ offense was shut down by the Grizzlies’ defense, which was led by Jaren Jackson Jr., who blocked five shots and had two steals in the first half.
In the absence of standout point guard Ja Morant, who injured his right knee in Saturday’s Game 3 loss, Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 21 points. Tyus Jones contributed 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists to the team.
“It’s a difficult one.” It’s a bitter pill to take. It seemed like we were in control of the entire game, “Jones addressed the reporters after the game. “We appeared to be in a good situation. “We seemed to have put ourselves in a terrific position to win a game, but things didn’t go our way in the last minutes.”
Game 5 will take place in Memphis on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, Al Horford had a postseason career-high 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 116-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, tying their best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Horford told the media after the game, “I normally just kind of go about my business.” “I get enthusiastic, but I suppose you have to choose your settings, your times. This was a tense match.”