Monday's NBA roundup: Warriors blast Grizzlies
Memphis, Tenn. — MVP Stephen Curry scored 21 of his 33 points by halftime, and the Golden State Warriors snapped their two-game skid Monday night by routing the Memphis Grizzlies 101-84 to tie their Western Conference semifinal at 2-2.
The Warriors hadn't lost three straight games all season, and they never came close as they took back home-court advantage. Curry hadn't scored more than 23 points in this series, and he nearly had that by halftime.
Draymond Green (Michigan State) had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors while Klay Thompson had 15 points, Harrison Barnes 12 and Andre Iguodala 11.
Marc Gasol had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis while Zach Randolph (Michigan State) had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Conley finished with 10 points and seven assists but was 4 of 15 from the field. Memphis pulled its starters with 3:00 left.
Game 5 is Wednesday night at Golden State.
Memphis coach Dave Joerger gave his Grizzlies a history lesson reminding them how they had blown 2-1 leads in the postseason. It didn't help as the Grizzlies lost their fourth straight Game 4, the third of those on their own court. They just didn't play with the same defensive intensity as the last two games.
Instead, it was the Warriors beating the Grizzlies to nearly every loose ball, scrapping to keep their dream season as the NBA's best team from falling to the brink of elimination. They got back their offensive rhythm as well leading by as many as 26 points, and they had their best game shooting outside the arc knocking down 14 3s.
Green looked like the forward who got the most first-place votes for defensive player of the year. He teamed with Andrew Bogut and Barnes making the night miserable for Randolph and Gasol in the paint. Green also pitched in offensively hitting his first three shots, and he finished with three 3s after coming into this game 5 of 17 outside the arc for the series.
Memphis led only briefly with its last at 9-8 and never got within double digits in the second half.
The Warriors took control with a 16-6 run that turned a tie at 18 into a 34-24 lead early in the second quarter, their biggest lead since the opener of this series.
Curry didn't take his first shot until 3:30 left in the first quarter, and he missed his first 3 along with a layup. He settled down and had seven points by the end of the quarter, including a 27-footer giving Golden State a 28-20 lead at the end of the quarter. The Warriors outscored Memphis 33-24 in the second, taking a 61-44 lead into halftime.
Atlanta 106, (at) Washington 101: Jeff Teague scored 26 points, Paul Millsap added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Al Horford had 18 points and 10 rebounds as three of Atlanta's four All-Stars played significant roles to help the Hawks even their second-round series at two games apiece.
Washington's lone All-Star, point guard John Wall, missed a third consecutive game with a broken left hand.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night at Atlanta.
"To me, personally, I think this is the best we've played all series," said Millsap, who had eight points in Game 3, when he was dropped from the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms. "Thirty assists, the way we played defense, the way we stepped up, the way we helped each other, the way we moved the basketball, the way we set screens."
Still, this one wound up being tight toward the end.
Two days after hitting a buzzer-beater to win Game 3, Washington's Paul Pierce missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the score coming out of a timeout with 9.5 seconds left.
"Thought I got a great look," Pierce said.
Said Bradley Beal, who scored a career playoff-high 34 points for the Wizards: "I thought it was going in. … That open one's always the hardest one to make."
Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both underwent treatment for injuries as they prepared for Tuesday night's Game 5 against Chicago.
James rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Sunday's Game 4 win. He battled through the injury before hitting a game-winning shot at the buzzer to even the series 2-2. James said he watched several replays of him turning his ankle over and was shocked he was able to finish the game.
Irving underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed tendinitis in his left knee. He's already dealing with a sprained right foot, an injury he sustained in Game 2 in the first round against Boston.
Irving expressed frustration at not being at 100 percent, but says there's no way he can sit out and will "do whatever I can for my teammates." Irving has had injuries before but never to both legs at the same time.
... Former guard Chauncey Billups, who led the Pistons to an NBA title in 2003-04, heads a class of 11 former athletes, coaches and administrators being inducted into the University of Colorado Hall of Fame.
The ceremony is set for Nov. 5 at the Coors Events Center.