Few moments come close to the triumph experienced by the Golden State Warriors on May 14th, 2022. Chase Centre erupted with wild cheers and celebrations as the Warriors eliminated the Grizzlies in a hotly contested Western Conference semifinals. Tensions were high on both sides; the Warriors had missed the Western Conference finals for the past two years, and it was the first time the Grizzlies had made it this far. In the 2020 – 2021 season, they lost in the opening round of the playoffs.
Western Conference Semifinals
The Memphis Grizzlies, the two-seed in the Western Conference, did not go down without a fight. The 110 – 96 Warriors win came against the backdrop of a humiliating Game 5 loss to the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies had a resounding 134 – 95 win, doing so in the absence of their superstar guard Ja Morant. He had suffered a bone bruise in his right knee. This happened when Warriors’ guard Jordan Poole grabbed at Morant’s knee in an effort to strip the ball.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, referred to as the Splash Brothers, combined for a total 59 points. However, the star of the game was Kevon Looney whose MVP-worthy performance propelled the GSW to victory.
5 Best Statistics Witnessed in Game 6
1. Kevon Looney
This 6 foot 7 inches UCLA alma mater plays the centre and forward position for the Warriors. In his 35 minutes of dominating the paint, Looney posted the following stats below:
4 points, 22 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 2 for 7 shooting. Check out NBA odds for Game 4 & 5 statistics.
He even out-rebounded Steven Adams (10 rebounds) by grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in this game. The only other players to make such numbers on rebounds, offensive rebounds, and assists is Shaquille O’Neal in 2003, and Nikola Jokic in 2021. His 11 out of 22 rebounds in the first quarter made him the first player to make these numbers since Larry Smith in 1987.
2. Klay Thompson
From an ACL injury that side-lined him for the 2019-20 season, coupled with a Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors, to a ruptured right Achilles tendon, Klay Thompson has had to overcome insurmountable challenges to perform as he did on Friday night. During the 42 minutes that Klay was on the floor, he made 30 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 11 for 22 shooting and 8 for 14 threes.
Asked about his affinity to shine exceptionally during any Game 6, Klay responded that he loved the game and playing it at the highest level gave him happiness. He also mentioned that since time goes really fast, one has to appreciate every single night. Bettors can cash in on Klay’s spectacular performance using NBA odds from BetUS.
3. Andrew Wiggins
A fourth All-Star, Wiggins scored 18 points, 15 which came in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds. His energy, especially on defence, was the key to keeping the Grizzlies away from the paint. He had 3 blocks and 1 steal in Game 6. In 46 seconds during the final quarter, Wiggins stole the ball for a dunk, locked down Dillion Brooks, causing a Grizzlies turnover and a three pointer from Steph Curry.
4. Draymond Green
The 14 points Draymond scored in Game 6 were the most he has scored in this playoff. In addition, he grabbed 16 rebounds and made 8 assists. This Warriors –Grizzlies series has not been kind to him. He got ejected in Game 1 for committing a Flagrant 2 foul. He pulled down Grizzlies centre Brandon Clarke with his jersey.
About 5 minutes into Game 2, Draymond caught an elbow to the face from Grizzlies forward Xavier Tillman. As he continues to recover from his bad start, we hope to see more of the versatile defender’s skills.
5. Steph Curry
Curry scored 29 points with six 3’s. He found his shooting spot late, making 2 straight baskets giving the Warriors a 1-point lead entering the final 12 minutes. He played for 40 minutes, grabbing 5 rebounds, making 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6 for 17 threes, and 3 for 4 free throws. Admittedly not his best game, we look forward to the basketball wizardry and shooting accuracy he is accustomed to.
The Grizzlies showed their talent and competitive tenacity. They promise to make a bigger and better comeback next season. The Golden State Warriors face the Dallas Mavericks at the Chase Centre for the Western Conference finals. A tough match-up is expected between Steph Curry and Luka Doncic.