The Golden State Warriors have proven that they are mortal as they trail 2-1 in their series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
After a rare home loss, the Warriors dropped Game 3, 99-89, to the Grizzlies in Memphis.
The Warriors offense continued to be suffocated by the vaunted Grizzlies defense, and point guard and MVP candidate Stephen Curry was completely shut down in the fourth quarter.
Although Curry scored 23 points, he shot 2-for-10 from the three-point line while scoring just two points in the fourth quarter.
Free-throw shooting also plagued the Warriors in Game 3 as they missed six of them in the fourth quarter, and they finished with a disappointing 67.9 shooting percentage.
They were also shut down behind the three-point line as they only made 23.1 percent of shots from downtown.
Three-pointers have been the Warriors’ strength throughout the season, as they made a league-leading 39.8 percent of their shots from the arc, which helped them lead the NBA with 110 points per game in the regular season.
The Grizzlies received valiant efforts from power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol.
Randolph led the Grizzlies in scoring with 22 points while adding eight rebounds, and he came through in the clutch with a shot clock-beating jump shot in the fourth quarter.
Gasol capped off the Grizzlies closing in the fourth quarter with an amazing bank shot that also beat the shot clock buzzer.
He finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds but fouled out shortly after his shot that turned out to be the dagger.
Point guard Mike Conley also continued to make his presence felt as the Grizzlies are still undefeated with a 5-0 record in the playoffs with him healthy.
The Grizzlies are extremely fortunate to have Conley back, considering he suffered a brutal facial injury in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers.
After a Game 1 loss to the Warriors without Conley, the point guard returned earlier than expected and got the Grizzlies back on track.
The Grizzlies are clicking at the right time and playing defense against the Warriors as well as any team possibly could.
However, the Warriors will not be easy to eliminate, and they are sure to have revenge on their minds for Game 4.
Curry’s play has dropped off since he accepted his MVP award in front of Warriors fans, but he should be determined to get back on track.
He will have to overcome the incredible defensive effort from shooting guard Tony Allen though, as he forced Curry to make an uncharacteristic mistake in Game 3.
Allen stole the ball from Curry and drove it to the hoop for a layup, and he totaled four steals that night while increasing his total to 16 in his last four games.
Gasol and Randolph have also helped the Grizzlies preserve their strong performances with reliable rebounding, but the Warriors simply have too much talent to let themselves trail 3-1.
Expect the Warriors to get back in the series with a hard-fought win as Curry and Thompson step up their play while Draymond Green bounces back from a horrific Game 3 performance, where he shot 1-for-8.
Prediction: Warriors 101, Grizzlies 96