This was the cocky, fearless, infectious Memphis Grizzlies basketball fans have fallen in love with. The ones dancing around to “Whoop that Trick.” The ones where Ja Morant will jump on the mic and start chanting “Griz in seven” after the game.
This was also the Grizzlies that went 20-5 without Morant this season.
Desmond Bane, who had struggled this series, may have been the best player on the floor. He, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points in a balanced attack. Memphis never trailed in the game and no Grizzlies starter was worse than +32.
The Memphis Grizzlies scored 77 points in the first half and dismantled the Golden State Warriors in Game 5, 134-95, making it a 3-2 series in favor of Golden State as the series heads back to San Francisco for Game 6 on Friday.
“We knew what was at stake,” Jackson said via the Associated Press. “We didn’t change anything, though. We just calmed down, looked at the film, understood what we had to take away from the last game and just went out there and executed.”
Memphis took charge of the glass in Game 5 — they are the bigger team but had been outrebounded in each of the first four games. Not Wednesday night, when they had 18 more boards than the Warriors. Most importantly, Memphis grabbed 18 offensive rebounds (Steven Adams had six), giving them a second chance on 34.6% of their missed shots.
The Grizzlies got help up and down the roster. Dillon Brooks had 12 points, Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke each scored 11 and De’Anthony Melton had 10.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 19, while Kuminga had 17 and Curry 14.
The Warriors have a tendency—even through their best championship years—of playing with their food. They don’t take finishing off series seriously sometimes, and Steve Kerr will do things like get Jonathan Kuminga time as a starter for the experience even if Jackson is tearing him up. That has to stop in Game 6. If the Warriors come out and take the game seriously, they can blow Memphis out again and move on, but if they dance around to Whoop that Trick and don’t give the Grizzlies they respect they have earned , there will be a Game 7.
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Confident Grizzlies dismantle Warriors 134-95, forcing Game 6 back in Bay Area originally appeared on NBCSports.com