SAN FRANCISCO (TAUT SF) — Golden State star Klay Thompson scored 30 points and Kevon Looney grabbed 22 rebounds, 11 on the offensive glass, Friday night to lead the Warriors to a 110-96 victory in the game 6 against Memphis to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
It was Thompson’s fourth career postseason game with eight 3s – tying Ray Allen, Steph Curry and Damian Lillard for most in NBA history.
Golden State is moving on to its sixth NBA Western Conference Finals in the last eight years. They will face the winner of game 7 between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns.
In a rocking game, it was only on a 3-point Curry with 5:43 to go, setting Golden State 95-89, that the Warriors were able to break the will of a young Grizzlies team playing without their star. Ja Morant.
Golden State needed everything they got from Thompson to overcome 17 turnovers and 14 of Curry and Jordan Poole’s 42 nights of shooting combined.
Curry found his shooting touch late in the game to finish with 29 points. Draymond Green added 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
With Thompson scoring 17 points, the Warriors shrugged off their offensive woes in Games 4 and 5 to take a 53-51 halftime lead closing on a 9-0 run. But the Grizzlies held on, even taking a short-lived lead in the second quarter, as Dillon Brooks shrugged off his own shooting issues, scoring 18 points and passing 5 of 10 from the three-point line.
Brooks finished the game with 30 points on 11 of 28 shooting and played solid defense all night on Poole.
After Wednesday’s 134-95 debacle on the Grizzlies’ home court in which they trailed to 55, the Warriors were determined to do everything better.
Desmond Bane scored the game’s first two baskets before the Warriors went 10 straight, with a pair of layups from Green and a 3 from Curry and Thompson.
Mike Brown, who was at the helm of head coach Steve Kerr, still suffering from COVID, decided to start Looney at center and the decision paid off, with Golden State owning a 70-44 advantage on the boards.
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.