Golden State Warriors had another tough shooting night, but thanks to Kevon Looney, who grabbed 22 rebounds in the game, allowing huge 2nd chance opportunities, they were able to close out the resilient Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6. Looney’s 22 rebounds were the most for the team since 1987.
Golden State Warriors sneak out a hard-fought victory over Memphis Grizzlies to punch their tickets to the conference finals. The series had very close games except for a couple of games where 1 team completely dominated the other. Game 6 was no-different story, where visiting Grizzlies did their best to keep up with hosts, and leads were separated by just 1 point at the end of the 3rd quarter. The difference came big time in the 4th quarter, courtesy to Golden State Warriors’ – Kevon Loony.
Though the Warriors out-scored Memphis 32-19 in the last 12 minutes of the semifinal game, the shooting was still not up to the mark by the dubs. It was Looney, who grabbed 6 offensive rebounds for second chance opportunities and provided 4 assists to extend the lead.
Kevon Looney – the difference-maker for Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors do possess sharpshooters in their roaster. But in recent games, the Warriors were struggling with long-range shooting, especially their guard trio – Curry, Thompson, and Poole. Jordan had strong 1st two games while later he was shooting below 40% from the field. Stephen Curry also was struggling with his flare as he was forced to take tougher shots.
Warriors – generally very efficient at home were struggling in Game 6 also, despite some open looks Poole was 26% from the field and Curry could connect 1 of 3 shots in the game. It made the game difficult for the home team, as the Grizzlies – led by Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks were able to catch up with some quick baskets.
Jaren Jackson Jr also played a huge role offensively, scoring on some important long-range shots to shut the crowd cheers. The game was close at the end of the 3rd quarter with a 77-78 score on the board.
Looney started the 4th quarter with a defensive rebound and then stuck to his role of dominating the rim. Kevon Looney endured his paint-area game and grabbed a total of 6 offensive rebounds to give the misfiring Warriors a second scoring opportunity. With just around 4 minutes remaining in the game, the Warriors had 10 point lead (thanks to defensive plays and block-party) where Looney grabbed 2 consecutive offensive boards assisting Thompson to finish possession with a long 3-pointer.
Kevon had 11 offensive and 11 defensive rebounds in the game, the most by a Warriors player in a playoff game since Larry Smith in 1987. Warriors had a huge 70-44 rebounds advantage in game-6. Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr dominate this specific stat for the series.
Golden State Warriors, who missed 2 consecutive postseasons (thanks to a loss to Memphis in a Play-in game last season) after 5 consecutive NBA Finals appearances had bright chances this season to impose their dominance again. But the path to the finals was tougher than expected. 2nd best team in the league – Memphis Grizzlies was a major obstacle for the Warriors. Now they will await the winner between Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.