MEMPHIS — Memphis Grizzlies’ confidence was restored with a performance that made a statement Wednesday night. Grizzlies showed rebounding, shooting, defense and tremendous energy.
Above all, they dominated. The Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors 134-95 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Grizzlies set a franchise playoff record with points, three-pointers and margins to win.
Jaren Jackson Jr. played like a dominant force by attacking the little Golden State defender and then keeping it honest with the 3-pointer. Desmond Bain is battling back pain, but he’s been roaming the screen and hitting the 3-pointer.
FedExForum’s energy was electricity. Ziaire Williams fouled Draymond Green and notified him on the way up the floor. “Whoop That Trick” was played late in the fourth quarter, with Green and Stephen Curry nodding as they watched.
Here are the three highlights of Game 5:
Jackson had different eyes.
Grizzlies manager Taylor Jenkins showed his faith in Jackson by leading the first play of the game for him. Jackson took a hook and turned around and ran towards the defense with a grim look on his face and eyes. It was the first sign that Ja Morant was ready to be the number one option with Ja Morant out due to right knee pain. Grizzlies asked for a post-play play for Jackson early in the first quarter, and he responded. Jackson scored two 3-pointers in the first quarter after recording 7 draws and 0 losses in Game 4.
Aggressive Jackson changes the situation for the Grizzlies.
Click All Cylinders
The Grizzlies quickly slowed the heartbeat of the FedExForum crowd. Memphis took the lead in the 10th minute of the first quarter, but the game was canceled after 12 minutes. Grizzlies dominated the Warriors 39-22 in the second quarter to build a 27-point halftime lead. The five Grizzlies were in double digits and the Grizzlies had 22 assists in 29 baskets. The defense was also active and gave us a 25-7 advantage in turnovers.
Memphis had the most complete game of the series and shined in all of their signature stats. Fastbreak points, second chance points, and points of paint were all controlled by the Grizzlies.
knocking on the glass
The Warriors used a smaller lineup around Green. On paper, the Grizzlies, the number one rebounding team in the NBA, had an edge, but it didn’t work out that way. The Grizzlies took outbound in each of their first four games, but looked like a team from Wednesday’s regular season. Memphis caught 13 attacking rebounds in the first half for a Golden State total of 17.
A big reason for the rebound advantage is the return of Steven Adams from the last two games. Brandon Clark also got his form back after struggling for most of the series.
Follow Damichel Cole on Twitter @DamichaelC.