SAN FRANCISCO — Memphis Grizzlies players communicated at a high level. They were talking about defense and sprinting to stay in front of the deadly snipers of the Golden State Warriors.
The high level of defense missed the shot, but the rebound often found Kevon Rooney’s hand. When Looney took the kick, the Warriors let the Grizzlies pay.
The Grizzlies’ biggest strength this season was their weakness on Friday night as they ended the season with a 110-96 loss.
Golden State had 21 second chances, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.
The three key elements of Game 6 are:
Warriors’ new lineup changes rebound
Golden State was the first in the series to digest more lineups. Looney started in center and Draymond Green moved to power forward. This had an effect on the Grizzlies as Green started the game on Jaren Jackson Jr. who seemed unstoppable in the fifth game. Grizzlies asked Jackson to play the first play of the game, and Green was right with him. A gunfight in front of Jackson. Jackson threw three 11 at-bats in the first half.
A large lineup meant the Warriors’ offense would lose another weapon, but Looney’s presence diverted the rebound advantage back in direction. The Grizzlies outbounded Golden State for the first time in Game 5, but the Warriors regained their lead on Friday and an attacking rebound opportunity gave them a victory in the game. Rooney finished with 22 rebounds, including 11 attacks.
game 6 clay
Klay Thompson has a history of big appearances in Game 6s, earning him the nickname “Game 6 Klay”. Thompson finished off a hot Friday with his first four three-pointers. He continued to play hot through the third quarter when the Grizzlies put Dillon Brooks on Thompson. Early in the series, Brooks said Stephen Curry was his top priority, even if the other Warriors were popular. Brooks’ impact was felt immediately as he took Thompson’s space first and drove him into a turnover.
Thompson finished with 30 points and shot 8 of 14 3-pointers. Curry added 29 points.
As Green limited Jackson’s runs, the Grizzlies had to get other scorers to step in. Brooks took on the challenge in the first half of Game 6, exceeding the shot total of Game 5. Brooks extended Grizzlies’ offense with his shot-making ability. Brooks got help from Desmond Bane.
Brooks led the Grizzlies with 30 points and Bane added 25.
With Thompson’s hot shot, Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter following eight points in the first half.
Follow Damichel Cole on Twitter @DamichaelC.