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Mar 20, 2024 12:25 am

Warriors try to end home slide against struggling Grizzlies

Desmond Bane

The Golden State Warriors attempt to end a three-game home losing streak when the Memphis Grizzlies visit San Francisco on Wednesday night.

In a contest the Warriors (35-32) never led, they fell to 17-18 on their home court with a 119-112 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday.

The home skid came just as the Warriors had moved as high as ninth in the Western Conference standings on the strength of a 10-2 road run.

Stephen Curry, who came on strong Monday after Golden State had fallen behind by double digits early, found himself scratching his head afterward about the lack of a home-court edge.

“Unusual,” he said. “(The home court has) been our staple — giving ourselves a little cushion every season for the last however long. It’s a challenge that we have to overcome at some point down the stretch.

“The best-case scenario is to try to have home court in a play-in environment or when you get into a series have to win here and protect your home court, especially as a lower seed. So you got to correct whatever is ailing us.”

The defeat dropped the Warriors to 10th in conference. They would have to move up one spot to host a first-round game in the playoff tourney, and two spots to be guaranteed two games if needed, with the second game at home.

Having watched his club notch a critical 128-121 road win over the No. 9 Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Golden State coach Steve Kerr stamped his team ready to make a late push.

“If we can get hot and get on a run, there’s no telling what happens ahead of us,” Kerr said. “I like where we are; we’re healthy, knock on wood. We’ve played pretty well in the big picture over the last 30 games or so. I don’t see any reason why we can’t make a run and put ourselves in the best position possible going into the postseason.”

The Warriors play just six of their final 15 regular-season games at home, but two come in a three-day span against the Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers.

The Warriors and Grizzlies have yet to meet in San Francisco this season. They split games in Memphis, with Golden State avenging a 116-107 loss in January with a 121-101 win in February.

The Grizzlies (23-46) are on the doorstep of playoff elimination. A loss to the Warriors would rule them out of the postseason for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign.

The Grizzlies have lost three in a row, including 121-111 in overtime at Sacramento on Monday. Jaren Jackson Jr. (25 points), Desmond Bane (24) and GG Jackson II (22) all topped 20 points. Memphis came within a GG Jackson missed 3-pointer at the regulation horn of a win that would have benefitted the Warriors’ playoff situation.

Bane put in 37 minutes in just his second game since missing 29 with a sprained left ankle. He has averaged 23 points and 5.5 assists in his return, and he has done a whole lot more than the numbers would indicate, GG Jackson noted.

“You definitely feel his presence out there,” the rookie said. “Even when he’s not in the action or handling the ball, he takes a defender out of the play because he’s so good.”

GG Jackson has averaged 20.5 points, about eight above his average, in the two games with Bane back.

–Field Level Media

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