SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson knocked down eight 3-pointers on his way to 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six 3s, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference Finals by the Memphis Grizzlies 110-96 in Game 6 on Friday night.
Curry found his shooting late and made two straight baskets late in the third for a 78-77 lead going into the final 12 minutes. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kevon Looney grabbed 22 rebounds and Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth with a pair of timely 3s.
Golden State — knocked out by Memphis in the play-in tournament last year — endured a tough streak to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2019, as the franchise reached its fifth straight NBA final before losing to Toronto in the deciding Game 6.
“Oops that trick!” the elated, raucous home crowd chanted at the waning moments, the fans sneaking away from Memphis.
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points on seven of his career best three-pointers, but took his second egregious offense of the series. Desmond Bane has added 25.
Curry checked in again for the last 8:21 and delivered a 3 with 5:45 remaining after a beautiful bounce pass from Green. Looney found Green for an easy dunk next time, capping off a decisive 10-0 run.
After Wednesday’s 134-95 debacle at the Grizzlies’ home floor, which left them with a whopping 55, the Warriors were determined to do better, especially by cutting the 22 turnovers that led to 29 points.
Bane scored the first two baskets of the game before the Warriors had 10 consecutive points, with a few layups from Green and a 3 from both Curry and Thompson.
Looney started after Jonathan Kuminga had played the previous three games after the injury to guard Gary Payton II. He broke his left elbow in a nasty fall after being hit on the head by Brooks in Game 2, earning Brooks a blatant 2 foul and a one-game suspension.
He was again loudly booed by the sold-out crowd at Chase Center at every opportunity. When Payton appeared on the big screen during a first quarter timeout, he received a rousing ovation and touched his hand to his heart before encouraging them to get louder.
Memphis again played without All-Star guard Ja Morant, who missed his third game in a row with a bone bruise to his troublesome right knee that the Grizzlies blamed on Jordan Poole pulling on the knee while going for a loose ball in Game 3.
Center Steven Adams limped gingerly on his right ankle and went to the locker room before half time 3:23, but turned back. At the same time, Brooks got a blatant foul 1 for knocking out Curry and the Grizzlies attacker and Thompson was hit with double tech.
Thompson, who shone back into the playoffs after his 2 1/2 year absence with a couple of serious injuries, scored his fourth postseason game of his career with eight 3s – Ray Allen, Curry and Damian Lillard for the most in the history of the NBA.
Grizzlies: Brooks had three glaring points and ended one with a one-game automatic suspension. … Memphis missed the last 10 shots of the second quarter. … The Grizzlies had a rebounding advantage of 55-37 in Game 5.
Warriors: Curry was 6 for 17 from deep. … Looney’s 11 first-quarter rebounds are a career high for any quarter, and they match a team’s West Coast-era Warriors playoff record, also achieved by Larry Smith on May 12, 1987, on the road vs. the Lakers. … F Otto Porter Jr. fell out with pain in his right foot. … Veteran Andre Iguodala, who is still sidelined with a left cervical disc injury, will be re-evaluated later next week.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
The Warriors played on Friday the 13th for the second time in franchise history, previously beating the Bucks 100-86 on April 13, 1973 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals to win the series 4-2 to win. according to Elias. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored a game-high 27 points and led the Bucks with 14 rebounds. Jim Barnett scored 26 for the Warriors.