Western Conference Semifinals Game #3: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies

2015 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Semifinals Game #3

#1 Golden State Warriors at #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Best of Seven Series tied 1-1
FedEx Forum- Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Opening Line: Golden State -3 1/2
Current Line: Golden State -4 1/2
Opening Total: 195 1/2
Current Total: 196 1/2
Opening Money Line: Warriors -180 / Grizzlies +155
Current Money Line: Warriors -205 / Grizzlies +175

Mike Conley returned from a nasty facial fracture in game two and now the series between the Warriors and Grizzlies moves to Memphis for game three.
Mike Conley returned from a nasty facial fracture in game two and now the series between the Warriors and Grizzlies moves to Memphis for game three.

Going into game two of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night in Oakland, The Golden State Warriors had gone 42-2 at home this season, and had won 21 straight home dating back to January. That all changed as the Memphis Grizzlies pulled off the 97-90 upset to even the series at 1-1. Now, the series switches to Memphis for games three and four. It will be interesting to see how the Warriors react to adversity for really the first time this season Saturday in game three.

Golden State won the Pacific Division with a 67-15 record by 11 games over the Los Angeles Clippers. In the first round, the Warriors swept the #8 seed New Orleans Pelicans 4-0 but the young and plucky Pelicans were competitive in every game.

Memphis went 55-27 and finished tied for second in the Southwest Division with the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams were a game behind the Houston Rockets. Memphis was the #5 seed in the Western Conference but had home court advantage in the first round series against the #4 seed Portland Trail Blazers, who won the Northwest Division. Memphis won the series in five games despite losing point guard Mike Conley to a facial fracture in game three.

Conley missed game one of this series and Golden State rolled to a 101-86 win. It was a completely different story in game two as Conley returned and inspired the Grizzlies on both ends of the court. Although his eye was still swollen and Conley was wearing a mask, he scored 22 points in his return to the line-up. Conley also added 3 assists. He only played 27 minutes and battled leg cramps late in the game.

Memphis took a six point lead at the end of the first in game two, and expanded the lead to 11 by halftime. Memphis scored the final 9 points of the first half to lead 50-39. It was only the second time all season Golden State had been held to under 40 points in the first half.  Golden state never got close than 7 points in the third and trailed by as many as 16. The Warriors would never get close than 7 points in the fourth either. Memphis held on for the 7 point win. Previously, the Warriors had been 44-0 this season when holding opponents under 100 points.

Golden State shot just under 42% from the field including 6/26 from 3 point range. The Warriors had 20 turnovers though. Memphis shot 44.6% from the field. Zach Randolph added 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Courtney Lee had 15 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals for the Grizzlies.

Golden State guard Stephen Curry was awarded the league MVP trophy before game two. He had 19 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Draymond Green had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 2 steals. Leandro Barbosa added 14 points off the bench. Klay Thompson had 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Harrison Barnes had 11 points and 4 rebounds. Andrew Bogut had 8 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists.

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Golden State is coached by Steve Kerr. The Warriors are 49-38-1 ATS and the total is 40-47-1 this season. Golden State was a 10 point favorite in game one Sunday and the total was 197.

Memphis is coached Dave Joerger. The Grizzlies are 44-42-3 ATS and the total is 36-51-2 this season.

Golden State is outscoring teams 110-100 this season. The Warriors lead the league in scoring. Golden State is shooting 47.8% from the field and 39.8% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #1 in both categories in the league. Golden State is #9 in free throw shooting at 76.8% from the line. Opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #1 in field goal defense and #5 in three point defense. Golden State averages 44.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.5 per game. Golden State is #6 in rebounding but #24 in rebounds allowed. The Warriors average 27.4 assists, 14.1 turnovers, 9.3 steals and 6.1 blocks per game.

Guard Stephen Curry averages 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 2 steals per game. Klay Thompson averages 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Draymond Green averages 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Marreese Speights averages 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Harrison Barnes averages 10.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Other key players in the rotation include David Lee, Andre Igoudala, Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Bogut and Shaun Livingston.

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Memphis is outscoring teams 98-95 this season. The Grizzlies are #2 in points allowed in the league. Memphis is shooting 45.9% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #7 in field goal shooting. Memphis is also #7 in free throw shooting at 77.4% from the line. Opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #10 in field goal defense. Memphis averages 42.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.6 per game. The Grizzlies average 21.7 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 8.5 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.

Center Marc Gasol averages 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Zach Randolph averages 16.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Mike Conley averages 15.8 points, 3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Jeff Green averages 13.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Courtney Lee averages 10.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal a game.

Golden State is 6-0 ATS on 3 or more days rest, 8-3 against teams with winning home records, 22-10 after a straight up loss, 35-17-1 in Saturday games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 2-7 overall, against Western Conference teams and against Southwest teams, and 1-5 after failing to cover. The road team is 11-5 ATS in this series recently. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the series recently.

Memphis is 4-0-1 ATS at home, 6-1 in second round games, 5-1 after a cover, 4-1 in Saturday games, on 3 or more days rest, and against Pacific Division teams, 7-2-1 overall and against teams with winning records, 9-3-1 against Western Conference teams, and 1-4-1 against teams with winning road records. Four of the last five games in this series have gone under the total.

Golden State has lost back to back games only four times this season. The last time was in early April when they had already clinched the best record in the league. A second loss in a row to Memphis would put Golden State in a difficult position down 2-1 in the series. I think the Warriors recover from a bad shooting night in game two, but it won’t be easy in front of a frenzied Memphis crowd in an Arena affectionately nicknamed the Grindhouse.

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