Warriors trounce Grizzlies to take series lead

Thu May 14, 2015 1:54am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Golden State Warriors moved to within one win of a trip to their first Western Conference finals since 1976, overcoming a slow start to rout the Memphis Grizzlies 98-78 on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

The Warriors can wrap up the best-of-seven series and advance to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or Houston Rockets with a road win in Game Six on Friday.

If a seventh game is necessary, it would be played back in Oakland on Sunday.

NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry scored 18 points, all on three-point shots, and the top-seeded Warriors dominated the Grizzlies from beyond the arc en route to their third double-digit victory of the series.

Driven by a quick 17 points from big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies led by as many as 13 in the first quarter.

However, after making eight of their first 13 shots, Randolph and Gasol combined to go just 6-for-21 the rest of the way as Memphis shot just 35.4 percent over the final 39 minutes of the game after hitting 10 of their first 16 shots.

The Grizzlies, who stunned the Warriors 97-90 in Oakland in Game Two, were playing without defensive star Tony Allen, who is nursing a strained left hamstring.

Memphis led 23-10 after nine minutes but the Warriors dominated thereafter, fighting back to lead by a point at the end of the first quarter and pulling away over the next two periods.

(Editing by Cameron French/John O'Brien)