Golden State Warriors oust stubborn Grizzlies to book Western Finals return | NBA
Klay Thompson knocked down eight threes on the way to 30, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six threes, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference Finals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-96 in Game 6 Friday night.
Curry found his shooting touch late and made two consecutive baskets late in the third for a 78-77 lead in the final 12 minutes. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kevon Looney grabbed 22 rebounds and Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth with a timely pair of threes.
Golden State — eliminated by Memphis in the Qualifying Tournament last year — weathered a grueling streak to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2019, when the franchise reached its fifth straight NBA Finals before losing to Toronto in the deciding Game 6. .
The third-seeded Warriors will face the winner of Phoenix-Dallas in the Conference Finals. Game 7 of this series will take place on Sunday in Phoenix.
“Woop that trick!” the delighted and boisterous home crowd chanted in the final moments, flying the fans away from Memphis.
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points with a career-high seven three-pointers but picked up his second flagrant foul of the series. Desmond Bane added 25.
Curry came back for the final 8:21 and delivered a three with 5:45 remaining on a nice bouncing pass from Green. Looney found Green for an easy dunk next time out, capping a 10-0 decisive run.
After Wednesday’s 134-95 debacle on the Grizzlies’ home court in which they trailed by as much as 55 points, the Warriors were determined to do everything better, especially reducing the 22 turnovers leading to 29 points.
The Warriors outscored the Grizzlies 70-44, becoming the first team to grab 70 rebounds in a playoff game since San Antonio had 75 against Denver on May 4, 1983.
Bane scored the first two baskets of the game before the Warriors scored 10 straight points, with a pair of layups by Green and three by Curry and Thompson.
Looney started after Jonathan Kuminga played the previous three games after guard Gary Payton II was injured. He broke his left elbow in a clumsy fall after being hit in the head by Brooks in game 2, earning Brooks a flagrant foul 2 and a one-game suspension.
He was again loudly booed at every opportunity by the sold-out Chase Center crowd. When Payton was shown on the big screen during a first quarter timeout, he received a cheering ovation and held his heart out before encouraging them to make more noise.
Memphis again played without All-Star guard Ja Morant, who missed his third straight game with an embarrassing bone bruise in his right knee that the Grizzlies blamed on Jordan Poole pulling on the knee as he searched for a loose ball in game 3.
Center Steven Adams limped gingerly on his right ankle and headed for the locker room 3:23 before halftime but came back. Meanwhile, Brooks received a flagrant 1 foul for taking out Curry and the Grizzlies and Thompson forward was hit with a technical double.
Boston Celtics 108-95 Milwaukee Bucks
Jayson Tatum wouldn’t let that happen again.
As the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks attempted to complete a fourth quarter comeback for the second straight game and close out their Eastern Conference semi-final, Tatum made sure the Boston Celtics kept their season alive and forced a decisive seventh game.
Tatum scored 46 points and the Celtics held off a brilliant performance from Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo to win 108-95 on Friday night, the third straight win for a road team in this thrilling series.
“I wasn’t going to leave anything out there and have any regrets,” Tatum said. “I’m just trying to do the right thing.”
After the Bucks cut a 14-point deficit to four with just under 9 minutes left, Tatum took over the game. He scored 16 of Boston’s 26 points in the fourth quarter.
“He was amazing,” said Antetokounmpo, who was pretty extraordinary on his own with 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists.
Tatum’s effort set up a win-win Sunday in Boston. The winner will travel to Miami to start an Eastern Finals game with the top-seeded Heat on Tuesday.
“I don’t think anyone has won back-to-back games in this series,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Now that’s the end. You have to find a way to get that fourth win and win the series. I think everyone in sports is looking for that game. That college feel. That NCAA feeling, where if you lose your season is over, if you win you continue. It’s exciting.”
Shortly after the game ended, three people were fatally shot in the Deer District, Milwaukee’s downtown entertainment district where sports fans attend sporting events, authorities said.
The Milwaukee Fire Department said authorities took two people to the hospital, a 30-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, and a third person checked into the hospital. All three people have non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say a 29-year-old man is in custody.
Witnesses told WTMJ-TV they saw a fight outside a bar after the basketball game. Police are investigating what led to the shooting.