Jarrett Jack made two free throws with 9.1 seconds left and Kristaps Porzingis scored seven of his team-high 30 points in a critical late-game stretch to lift NY to a victory over New Orleans.
"It's the fear of playing without Steph Curry", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. Fire him up in your season-long leagues, but you may want to be careful in DFS. I will keep an eye on him in terms of his wind and his conditioning but ideally 20-25 minutes would be nice. After averaging under 99 possessions per 48 minutes in the 11 games without Curry (they were at 103.94 before the injury and even faster with Curry), Golden State played at a pace of 106.73 in his almost eight first-quarter minutes against a team that prefers to slow things down. As 13-point road underdogs, Memphis are well worth a wager to do just that.
Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry returned with a vengeance on Saturday, draining 10 three-pointers in the Golden State Warriors' 141-128 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. It will be the team's last game before 2018 as they look to end 2017 on a high note.
Through their first 12 games in December, the Warriors led the National Basketball Association in several defensive categories per game, including blocks (8.4), defensive rebounds (36.4) and opponent field-goal percentage (41.7).
The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant who ended the game with 27 points. Golden State shined during Durant's 19-game absence last spring ahead of the playoffs, then went 15-1 on the way to a second title in three years and Durant earned NBA Finals MVP. They are 9-2 without Curry. "What's been different is we've been able to consistently put a bunch of 6-7 guys out there, so when we do switch there's not a height disadvantage". Anthony Davis' three-pointer at the buzzer was no good for New Orleans (18-18).
The Warriors lacked both of those traits while Curry was out - just two of the issues that were highlighted by his absence, which showed that even this seemingly indomitable team has some flaws.
"It's just plays that you make", Curry said. "We had a talk with him and he was feeling good".
Kevin Durant added 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 21 points as the Warriors wrapped up almost three weeks at home in California.
The only negative for Golden State on Saturday night came during the second quarter, when forward Draymond Green was ejected after drawing two technical fouls within the span of one minute.
"When he's around, everybody feels better", Kerr said.