Warriors soar over Grizzlies 98-78 in Western Conference Semi-Finals

Confetti falls on the crowd after the Warriors beat the Grizzlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Final series. photo by Allen Payton

Confetti falls on the crowd in celebration of the Golden State Warriors victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Final series Wednesday night, May 13, 2015. photo by Allen Payton

Take lead 3-2 in playoff series

By F.D. Purcell

Antioch Herald

Sounds of the chant “Warriors” permeated ORACLE Arena for the 128th consecutive sellout crowd of 15,596 during Wednesday night’s victory in their game against the Memphis Grizzlies. A completely different energy than the Tuesday before when the league’s MVP, Steph Curry was honored in a pregame ceremony. That night Golden State received their third loss in three months, but Wednesday night was different.

After struggling in Game 3 and snagging a win in Game 4 in Memphis, Golden State got their regular season playing mojo back upon returning to ORACLE for Game 5 versus breaking their 2-2 tie with a 98-78 win.

This win is significant to win the series, we would love to win on the road,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr following the game. “You have to try to get it done when you can, you can’t mess around. We have to play the defense we played the last few games.”

Golden State also ended an18-year Game 5 losing streak dating back to May 3, 1987 against the Utah Jazz in their victory.

This is the kind of defense that is going to be what it takes to close the series out,” Kerr added.

The Grizzlies started out the gate making it their game, leading by as much as 13 points in the first quarter, until Golden State found their rhythm capitalizing on rebounds and a jump start of offense by Curry in the second quarter.

Forward Klay Thompson led all scorers with 21-points, Curry was second with 18 but it would be the Warriors bench that would be the spark finishing with 32-points versus Memphis‘ 17.

I don’t think Shaun Livingston gets the credit he deserves, as a low-length defender and he gives them stability,” said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. “Their bench has been tremendous.”

For Memphis, they’re just looking forward to getting back to the drawing board and Game 6, Friday at FedEx Forum.

We are going to execute a litle better,” said Memphis Center Marc Gasol.

Playing without one of their key players, Tony Allen, Memphis certainly missed the “juice” that he brings, as well as the defensive threat, according to Joerger.

We really missed that from Tony tonight, let alone what he does as a defender, which I could go on and on for that,” Joerger added.

The Warriors capitalized on the loss, executing effectively, and Kerr feels his team has yet to reach their playing potential.

I don’t think we’ve hit our stride, yet with the way they’re playing us offensively,” Kerr stated.

Golden State looks to close out the series Friday in Memphis at FedEx Forum. Should they tie the series they will play Game 7 at ORACLE on Sunday.

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