One team that has been terrible at exacting revenge duels another that hasn’t been great at preventing it when the Golden State Warriors visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
The pairing is a rematch from a 116-107 Grizzlies home win over the Warriors last month in a game Memphis won from the free-throw line and 3-point arc. The Grizzlies prevailed despite making 12 fewer field goals than the visitors, including 22 fewer from inside the 3-point line.
Memphis made just 12 two-point shots, but didn’t need any more thanks to 20 3-pointers in 54 attempts and 32 successful foul shots in 40 tries.
So, for the sixth time this season, the Grizzlies will get an opportunity to face a team they’ve beaten in the previous meeting. They’ve gone just 2-3 in those contests.
To add insult to several injuries, Memphis finds itself trying to double up on Golden State on the second night of a back-to-back. The Grizzlies burned four starters upward of 30 minutes in a 108-101 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was among the busiest Grizzlies in the defeat, firing up 23 shots while also finding time for five rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a steal. He was the game’s co-leading scorer with 25 points in 34 minutes.
The loss was Memphis’ third straight, all by single-digit margins. They also came up agonizingly short against the Indiana Pacers (116-110) and Sacramento Kings (103-94) in their previous two games.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins noted after Thursday’s loss it would be a mistake to blame late-game failures as the chief cause of the defeats.
“There’s a ton of things we can do better over the course of the game,” he said. “A loose ball, an offensive rebound … gotta have that defensive rebound. They’re all important in close games.”
Meanwhile, the Warriors have had the last two nights off in preparation for a five-game trip. They will be opening a back-to-back sequence, with a quick turnaround Saturday in Atlanta.
In Memphis, the Warriors will, for the 11th time, see an opponent that beat them earlier this season. Remarkably, they’ve gone 0-10 in those games.
Golden State is coming off a 2-2 homestand in the wake of its loss at Memphis. The stretch both began (against Atlanta) and finished (against Philadelphia) with wins, the latter coming 119-107 on Tuesday behind 37 points by Stephen Curry.
Perhaps more important for the Warriors, they were encouraged by the pairing of Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins in a new starting lineup, one that also has featured Draymond Green the past two games.
The Warriors averaged 131.5 points in those two contests, with Kuminga averaging 24 on 19-for-35 shooting and Wiggins 22.5 on 16-for-22 shooting.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr credited Green, who totaled 17 assists in those games to complement 17 points and 20 rebounds.
“Draymond connects those guys at both ends of the floor just with his communication defensively and then the way he helps get us organized offensively,” Kerr said. “Great to see Wiggs and J.K. both playing so well and playing well together. It’s fun.”
–Field Level Media
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