Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton all topped 20 points and the host Memphis Grizzlies closed in on clinching the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 123-95 shellacking of the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Bane dropped in a team-high 22 points, while Brooks and Melton added 21 apiece for the Grizzlies (53-23), who won the season series over the Warriors (48-28) and moved within one win — or one Golden State loss — from earning the West’s second seed behind the Phoenix Suns (61-14).
Despite getting a game-high 25 points from Jordan Poole, the Warriors lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, finished a 1-4 trip and lost ground to the Dallas Mavericks (46-29), Utah Jazz (45-30) and Denver Nuggets (45-31) in the battle for the No. 3 seed in the West.
Golden State chose to rest veterans Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Otto Porter Jr. on the seventh day of a five-game trip that featured a pair of back-to-backs. The Warriors were coming off a 123-115 loss at Washington on Sunday night.
In winning for the fifth straight time since Ja Morant suffered a knee injury, and for the 18th time in 20 games without their star this season, the Grizzlies scored the last seven points of the first quarter to take the lead for good.
Bane did a majority of his scoring from outside the 3-point arc, going 5-for-6. Melton was 5-for-9 from deep, as they combined for 10 of Memphis’ 12 threes.
Kyle Anderson chipped in with 13 points and Brandon Clarke 12 for the Grizzlies, who have won nine of their last 10.
Memphis’ Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman shared game-high rebounding honors with nine, while Tyus Jones logged a game-high six assists without committing a turnover.
The Grizzlies outshot the Warriors 46.7 percent to 40.7 percent, and outrebounded the guests 52-40, including 13-7 on the offensive boards.
Poole topped 20 points for the 14th straight game for the Warriors, who fell for a fifth time in six outings since Stephen Curry suffered a foot injury. Poole has gone for 25 or more points eight times in his 14-game run.
Moses Moody had 18 points, Jonathan Kuminga 15 and Andrew Wiggins 10 for the Warriors. Kuminga also led Golden State in rebounds with seven and in assists with four.
–Field Level Media