Klay Thompson erased a previous bad outing by scoring early and in the process helped himself accomplish a first in his NBA career.
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Thompson scored 30 points Saturday night and the Golden State Warriors ended an 11-game losing skid to Memphis, defeating the short-handed Grizzlies 108-82.
”I’ve been in this league three years, and I haven’t beaten them in three years,” said Thompson, who was limited to five points in a loss at Houston on Friday. ”So, to finally get a win, the way we did, it felt great to win big like that.”
David Lee added 23 points for the Warriors and Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, despite shooting 7 of 16 on the night. Curry matched his career-best with 15 assists, two more than Memphis’ team total.
”Klay was hot early, and we had some matchups we wanted to attack,” Curry said. ”On pick-and-rolls, they were basically trapping and trying to get the ball out of my hands. You can’t force anything, so you trust your teammates to make plays.”
Mike Miller led the Grizzlies with 16 points, while Jon Leuer and Zach Randolph added 15 points each. Mike Conley finished with 12 points, but was 4 of 12 from the field, part of Memphis shooting 37 percent. Kosta Koufos had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Memphis played without starters Marc Gasol and Tony Allen, plus Ed Davis, who had moved into the starting lineup. Then in the second quarter, Memphis lost Quincy Pondexter, who started for Allen, to a right midfoot sprain.
”We’ve got to step it up,” Randolph said of the injuries. ”We’ve just got to come out and play hard. It’s tough.”
Lee had 11 rebounds and Andrew Bogut grabbed 12 boards to help Golden State outrebound Memphis 47-40 while shooting 50 percent. Memphis was limited to 2 of 10 from beyond the arc as the Warriors rebounded from Friday’s 105-83 loss at Houston.
”I think we showed who we truly are,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. ”We’ve been upset with the way we’ve played. We came in here against a team that we had not had much success, or any success at all against, and got a quality win.”
Thompson got the Warriors started early, connecting on 7 of 9 shots in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. That helped Golden State build its lead to as many as 16 points in the first half. And Jackson was going to make sure Memphis didn’t get any momentum.
”It was the first time in my career that I was locked and loaded to call an early timeout,” Jackson said. ”Fortunately, it didn’t have to take place because of the way we came out.”
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies’ injury woes continued to build when Pondexter went to the locker room in the latter stages of the half and did not return.
The Warriors’ defense and a short Memphis bench allowed Golden State to stop the Grizzlies after halftime. Memphis was 3 of 18 to start the third quarter and had three turnovers in the first 9 minutes of the stanza.
At that point, Golden State had matched its largest lead at 69-53, and the Grizzlies were dragging.
”We need to go out there and take an attitude of competing our tails off and letting the chips fall where they may,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said, ”and not worrying about anything on the periphery.”
NOTES: The Warriors’ last victory in the series was Nov. 3, 2010. Golden State had not won in Memphis since April 4, 2008. … Curry’s 3-pointer with 10:48 left in the third moved him past Jason Richardson as the Warriors top 3-point shooter. Richardson had 700 from outside the arc. Curry has 701. … The Warriors were 0-4 in the second game of back-to-backs this season before Saturday’s victory. … Curry had led Golden State in scoring the past five games. However, he did keep his streak of leading the Warriors in assists. He has led the team in eight straight. … Miller led the Grizzlies in scoring, becoming the eighth player to lead Memphis in scoring the past eight games.