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Warriors Close Strong to Advance Past Grizzlies to Western Conference Finals

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 5/14/2022 Mike McDaniel
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Golden State used a strong fourth quarter to move on to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in three seasons.

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After an injury-plagued last couple of seasons, the Warriors looked like the championship team of old on Friday night, as they used a dominant offensive stretch in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Grizzlies, 110–96, to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2019.

After the Grizzlies lost Ja Morant to a bone bruise in his knee at the end of Game 4, Memphis came out motivated in Game 5, blowing out Golden State and pulling the series to a 3–2 margin. 

However, it’s never easy to go on the road in the playoffs, especially against a team with the championship pedigree of the Warriors. Despite a 30-point night from wing Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies couldn’t hold Golden State down in the waning minutes, as the three-point barrage led by Steph Curry and “Game 6 Klay” Thompson proved to be too much for the visitors to overcome.

Golden State outscored Memphis 32–19 in the fourth quarter to pull away, and the Splash Brothers played a big role.

Thompson hit eight threes on the night and finished with a team-high 30, while Curry hit six threes and finished with 29. Andrew Wiggins pitched in 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Warriors await the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Mavericks and the Suns in Phoenix. If the Suns win, Golden State will travel to Phoenix for Game 1 of the conference finals next week. If Dallas wins, the Warriors would host the Mavericks and have home court advantage.

For now, Golden State will rest up and await their next opponent, as it is four wins away from another trip to the NBA finals.

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