The Warriors lost their second in a row for the second time this season. The first was back in November, when a 101-77 rout by the Lakers at Staples was followed by a 2-OT loss in Denver. This time, a rout by the Clippers at Staples was followed by the Warriors’ eighth straight loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Warriors can’t beat the bigger, plodding Grizzlies, and they almost seem okay with it. Either that or the leaders of the team don’t want the guys to get too down at a time like this, not when they’ve accomplished so much and face a rude set of games throughout the rest of January.
“There’s no need to panic. Especially with the month that we have in front of us,” Stephen Curry said. “It’s a disappointing loss tonight, but I thought we played well.”
“Proud of our guys’ effort tonight,” David Lee said after noting how the Grizzlies are playing “really good basketball.”
I wonder how often the Warriors’ two stars looked wistfully at the bench on Wednesday night, wondering if they might break out of this rut against the Grizzlies with the help of a certain Aussie center. While Festus Ezeli helped force Marc Gasol into a 4-for-12 shooting night, he only grabbed 2 rebounds in 25 minutes. Plus, against Memphis points don’t come easy (they’re the No. 1 team in the NBA when it comes to points allowed at 89 per game, and the Warriors could only muster 87), and the Grizzlies had a 60-34 advantage when it came to scoring in the paint.
While Ezeli more than doubled his season average with 6 points, there was a point in time where Mark Jackson probably wished he could go small late like he usually does. Klay Thompson fed Ezeli down low with less than three minutes remaining and the Warriors down 84-82. In other words, Thompson (who had a solid all-around game with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists) played right into the Grizzlies’ hands. Ezeli missed a short hook shot, and the Grizzlies would build a 6-point lead that Golden State would never overcome.
“We get a good duck in by Festus. I’d much rather have him come out and set a pick on the ball, but no matter what he got a good look,” Jackson said.
Odds and ends
— Jarrett Jack made a spectacular and-one with Tony Allen crashing into him from about 15-feet away, but he only shot 1-for-4 after making 4-of-12 shots in Saturday’s loss to the Clippers. It would be all that surprising if he’s still feeling the effects of an elbow injury he suffered while lifting weights. He’s playing through it, but for a little while he may be more of a distributor than the guy who averaged 15.4 ppg in December.
— Tonight was a game where the Warriors also missed Brandon Rush, who can hold his own against Tony Allen and Rudy Gay defensively and provide some rebounding from the three spot.
— Draymond Green only played 4 minutes, and hasn’t played 20+ minutes in any of his last nine games.
— Jackson on Lee: “He gave me everything he had. And I think he battled a big-time power forward, in Zach Randolph, to a standoff.”
— Lee: 14 points (6-of-14 from the field), 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
— Randolph: 19 points (8-of-13 from the field), 12 rebounds and 0 assists.
— Statistically it wasn’t as lopsided as it looked from press row — Randolph gave Lee and the Warriors problems all night.