If the Warriors are going to win 70 games, or even 65, they’ll need to summon a few more performances like the one they delivered Wednesday in Memphis.
In their sloppiest effort of the season thus far, the Warriors managed to out-grind the bulldozing Memphis Grizzlies and slink out of FedEx Forum – aka The Grindhouse – with a 100-84 victory.
Steph Curry endured his second consecutive poor (by his standards) shooting night to fire in a game-high 28 points to push the Warriors to a 9-0 start, matching the franchise record set by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960-61.
Only two other Warriors scored double figures, as Andre Iguodala finished with 20 points and Harrison Barnes put in 19.
The constant on this night was defense, which allowed the Warriors to survive despite shooting 42.5 percent in the first half and committing 23 turnovers, a season-high, for the game. The struggling Grizzlies (3-6) shot 30 percent in the first half and finished at 34.3 percent.
Curry wins the honor simply on the basis of a 17-point third quarter. File that in the category of providing in a time of need.
Barnes and Iguodala also were solid. Barnes shot 7-of-11, while Iguodala was 5-of-7 – including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
After a Zach Randolph jump hook pulled the Grizzlies within five at 68-63 with 30.5 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 6-0 run to close the quarter.
It was no ordinary 6-0 run, as Curry drained a 40-footer to at the buzzer, giving the Warriors a 74-63 lead entering the fourth quarter and, moreover, generating major momentum.
Memphis never got closer than seven (78-71) with 8:17 to play.
Warriors: F Brandon Rush is healthy but was placed on the inactive list for this game. F Kevon Looney (hip surgery) remains out indefinitely.
Grizzlies: F Brandan Wright (R knee soreness) was listed as questionable and did not play. G Jordan Adams (R knee soreness) and F Jarell Wright (L foot surgery), listed as out, did not play.
The Warriors go back to work Thursday night in Minnesota, where they face the Timberwolves at Target Center. Tipoff is set for 5:30 PDT.