Curry’s Brilliance Delivers Warriors Into Western Conference Finals

The magic of Stephen Curry struck once again and this time it ended the season of the Memphis Grizzlies. As Curry and his teammates scuffled in the third quarter and the Grizzlies looked to cut the lead to a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter, Curry sank the dagger.

After Jeff Green appeared to be fouled by Andre Igoudala, Curry picked up the loose ball and nailed a three-quarter court heave to bury the Grizzlies. Curry led the Warriors with 32 points on 8-0f-13 from behind the arc as Golden State advanced to their first Western Conference Finals since 1976 with a 108-95 victory in Game 6.

Curry was simply unbelievable yet again for Golden State as he’s lived up to his MVP accolades. Curry was one of five Warriors to score in double figures as the Warriors head back home awaiting their opponent in the next round.

Golden State had everything flowing in the first quarter as all five starters scored in building an early 19-10 lead midway through quarter. Curry and Klay Thompson both asserted themselves in the early going as they outscored Memphis by themselves, 22-19 in the first. Each had 11 points including three three-point shots as the Warriors took a 32-19 lead after one quarter of play.

The Warriors shot 65 percent in the first, including 6-of-9 from three, while Memphis shot a measly 28 percent.The Warriors suffocating defense allowed them to get out and take the game to the Grizzlies from the onset. Continuing a trend from Game 5, Golden State outscored the Grizzlies 14-1 in fastbreak points during the first quarter.

Memphis was able to cut into the Golden State lead during the second quarter as the Warriors defense appeared to let up. The Grizzlies put together their first 30-point quarter since the second quarter of their Game 3 victory.

While the Warriors shot a blistering 59.5 percent during the first half, the Grizzlies were able to offset that by knocking down 13-of-17 from the free-throw line. Marc Gasol paved the way for Memphis with 14 points in the first half, while Thompson led Golden State with 16.

For all their hot shooting during the first half, the Warriors were ice cold to begin the third. Golden Start started just 1-for-12 in the second half as Memphis cut the lead to 61-57 midway through the third quarter. After knocking down 13 shots in the first quarter alone, the Warriors only hit 13 shots over the next quarter-and-a-half.

The Grizzlies were able to get back into the game as they stepped up their defense and were relentless in attacking the Warriors in the paint. Gasol and Randolph combined for 13 points during the third quarter, while Gasol registered four blocks on the defensive end. Memphis cut the lead down to one on a couple different occasions, but two big Igoudala threes helped keep the Grizzlies at bay.

Then, Curry produced his moment of brilliance and Memphis could never recover. Despite all the struggles for the Warriors in the third, the Grizzlies were only able to shave one point off the Golden State lead.

In the fourth, the Warriors offensive dominance took over. Golden State matched their first quarter output with 32 points in the final quarter of play to bury Memphis. The Warriors ended the night knocking down 15-of-32 from deep, including the eight threes from Curry. Golden State shot 50.6 percent from the floor, while holding Memphis to 37.4 percent, and just 4-of-16 from three. The Warriors racked up 27 assists on 41 field goals, while outrebounding the Grizzlies 47-43 on the night.

Igoudala and Shaun Livingston were huge off the bench for Golden State in this one combining for 19 points. Draymond Green was his usual relentless self with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes chipped in 13 points and was a team-high plus-18 on the night.

Battling their first bouts of adversity after their back-to-back losses in Games 2 and 3, the Warriors responded and dominated the Grizzlies. Golden State received contributions from everyone and showed why they won a franchise-record 67 wins during the regular season. They simply had too much firepower for Memphis to contend with and Curry was the best player on the floor over the final three games.

Golden State is now halfway home to their championship goal, and when his team needed it most, the MVP proved why there was no other worthy candidate for the award.


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