Gritty Grizzlies grind back from 24 points down to complete stunning comeback over Warriors in OT
Mike Conley had the last laugh, spoiling Steph Curry's 40-point explosion with clutch jumpers in the fourth quarter and the overtime period. AP

GRIT and grind was in full display as the Memphis Grizzlies completed an incredible comeback from 24 points down against the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors on hostile territory with a 128-119 win at the Oracle Arena on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

Zach Randolph capped a 16-0 run in under three minutes with for Memphis to cut what was once a 24-point deficit down to two, 104-102, with 5:01 left in regulation. Troy Daniels also came up with three triples in that searing run, holding Golden State without a field goal in the fourth until Steph Curry finally hit a jumper with 3:08 to go.

With Golden State going small late, Randolph exploited an advantage at the post over Kevin Durant and a split from the stripe from Tony Allen got the lead down to one, 108-107, entering the final two minutes.

Curry and Tony Allen traded baskets late to keep Memphis within two but Mike Conley took on one of the NBA’s top defenders in Draymond Green and sank a step-back jumper to tie the game with seven seconds left, 111-111. Memphis forced Curry to heave from near half-court, hitting the side of the rim, as the game went into overtime

Marc Gasol and Randolph then started extra time with two buckets each, giving Memphis an early six point lead. Green answered with a three-point play, but Daniels’ fourth triple of the brought the Grizzlies edge back to six.

Durant got called for a crucial charge late, but after a Gasol miss, Green scored on a triple with 1:13 to play to get within three, 122-119. But that would be all for Golden State as Conley again came up with a clutch jumper, and Allen sank the dagger on the drive to put Memphis up seven with 21.7 left, getting most of the crowd heading to the exits.

Memphis ended a two-game skid and snapped Golden State’s win run at four despite Curry playing well for the second straight night, dropping at least 35 on back-to-back games, including 36 of his 40 points against the Grizzlies in three quarters.

The back-to-back MVP started out on fire, scoring 17 first quarter points, half of the team’s output in the period, while Klay Thompson added 12 as the Warriors built a 15-point lead midway through the second frame. Durant then took over to keep a tough Memphis team at bay, and Golden State took a 67-55 edge at the half on a buzzer-beating trey by Thompson.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The lead ballooned to 24 midway through the third, as Curry, Durant and Thompson continued the onslaught, combining for 67 points, three more of Memphis’ total, at the 5:16 mark of the period, with the Warriors leading, 88-64. Curry again finished with 17 in the third, including the quarter’s final basket, to put Golden State up big, 98-79, into the fourth.

But the Grizzlies came up with a 7-0 start cut the gap to 12, 98-86, with over nine minutes left. Troy Daniels provided instant offense off the bench for Memphis, and knocked down his second triple of the period at the 6:28 mark to get the Grizzlies within single digits, 104-97.

Conley and Randolph each had double-doubles for Memphis (23-16), with the guard finishing with 27 points and 12 assists while the burly forward also had 27 markers to go with 11 boards off the bench. Gasol chipped in 23, Daniels had all 12 of his points in the fourth period and overtime, while Allen ended up with 11 markers, 12 rebounds and six steals.

Durant had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for Golden State (31-6). Thompson finished with 17, while Green added 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals before fouling out late in OT.  

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph