Golden State Warriors oust stubborn Grizzlies to book return to West finals
- Curry, Thompson send Warriors into Western Conference finals
- Tatum’s huge effort helps Celtics win 108-95 to force Game 7
- Police say three injured in shooting near Bucks’ home arena
Klay Thompson knocked down eight three-pointers on the way to 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six threes, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-96 in Game 6 on Friday night.
Curry found his shooting touch late and made two straight baskets late in the third for a 78-77 lead entering 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 threes.
Golden State – eliminated by Memphis in the play-in tournament last year – withstood a testy series to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2019, when the franchise reached its fifth straight NBA finals before losing to Toronto in the deciding Game 6.
The third-seeded Warriors will face the Phoenix-Dallas winner in the conference finals. Game 7 of that series is Sunday in Phoenix.
“Whoop that trick!” the delighted, raucous home crowd chanted in the waning moments, the fans’ steal away from Memphis.
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points with a career-best seven three-pointers but picked up his second flagrant foul of the series. Desmond Bane added 25.
Curry checked back in for the final 8:21 and delivered a three with 5:45 remaining off a beautiful bounce pass by Green. Looney found Green for an easy dunk the next time down, capping a decisive 10-0 run.
After Wednesday’s 134-95 debacle on the Grizzlies’ home floor in which they trailed by as many as 55 , the Warriors were determined to do everything better, especially cutting down on the 22 turnovers leading to 29 points.
The Warriors outrebounded the Grizzlies 70-44, becoming the first team to grab 70 rebounds in a playoff game since San Antonio had 75 against Denver on 4 May 1983.
Bane scored the first two baskets of the game before the Warriors ran off 10 consecutive points, with a pair of layups by Green and a three by both Curry and Thompson.
Looney started after Jonathan Kuminga had the previous three games following the injury to guard Gary Payton II. He broke his left elbow in an awkward fall after being hit over the head by Brooks in Game 2 that earned Brooks a Flagrant 2 foul and one-game suspension.
He was booed loudly again at every chance by the sellout crowd at Chase Center. When Payton was shown 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 straight game with a bone bruise in 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 off gingerly on his right ankle and headed to the locker room 3:23 before halftime but returned. At the same time, Brooks received a Flagrant foul 1 for taking down Curry and the Grizzlies forward and Thompson were hit with double technicals.
Boston Celtics 108-95 Milwaukee Bucks
Jayson Tatum wouldn’t let it happen again.
With the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks attempting to complete a fourth-quarter comeback for the second straight game and close out their Eastern Conference semi-final, Tatum made sure the Boston Celtics instead kept their season alive and forced a decisive seventh game.
Tatum scored 46 points and the Celtics withstood a brilliant performance from Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo to win 108-95 on Friday night, the third straight victory for a road team in this thrilling series.
“I wasn’t going to leave anything out there and have any regrets,” Tatum said. “Just trying to do what it took.”
After the Bucks reduced a 14-point deficit to four with just under 9 minutes left, Tatum took over the game. He scored 16 of Boston’s 26 fourth-quarter points.
“He was unbelievable,” said Antetokounmpo, who was pretty extraordinary in his own right with 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists.
Tatum’s effort set up a winner-take-all matchup Sunday in Boston. The victor heads to Miami to begin an East finals matchup with the top-seeded Heat on Tuesday.
“I don’t think anybody’s won two games in a row in this series,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Now, it’s the finality. You’ve got to go and find a way to get that fourth win and win the series. I think everybody in sport looks for that game. That college feel. That NCAA feel, where if you lose your season’s done, if you win, you keep going. It’s exciting.”
Shortly after the game concluded, three people were shot in the Deer District, the downtown Milwaukee entertainment district where sports fans frequent during sporting events, authorities said.
The Milwaukee fire department said authorities took two people to a hospital, a 30-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, and a third person drove to a hospital. All three people have non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said a 29-year-old man is in custody.
Witnesses told WTMJ-TV that they saw a fight outside a bar following the basketball game. Police are investigating what led to the shooting.