The Phoenix Suns own the longest win streak in the NBA this season when they won 18 straight. The Warriors snapped the streak on Christmas. The Memphis Grizzlies came into Tuesday night with a nine-game win streak, the second-longest in the league this season and the longest in Memphis' franchise history.
This time, the Warriors couldn't play spoilers and lost to the Grizzlies 116-108 at FedExForum.
The Warriors took an early lead but then got turnover happy and saw the Grizzlies go-ahead by a wide margin in the first quarter. Golden State had six turnovers in the first six minutes and Steph Curry had already shot two airballs. Things got worse in the second quarter, where the Grizzlies took an 18-point lead at one point. But the Warriors went on a mini-run at the end of the first half and went into halftime down by just eight points.
In the first half, the Warriors had 12 turnovers and the Grizzlies scored 20 points off them. The Grizzlies committed only five turnovers and the Warriors didn't score any points after getting the ball back. A combination of turnovers and not being able to make 3-pointers had the Warriors' offense out of whack.
But just as they have done so many times, the Warriors looked like a whole new team in the third quarter. They outscored the Grizzlies 39-28 and went into the fourth quarter up by three points.
The Warriors' offense then fell flat in the fourth quarter, and Golden State was outscored 29-18 in the final frame. Turnovers made all the difference, giving the Grizzlies extra chances and 18 more shots to take down the Dubs.
Here are three takeaways from a loss that dropped the Warriors to 30-10 this season, making them the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference behind the Suns.
Game 2 Klay
After scoring 17 points and shooting the ball 18 times in 20 minutes on Sunday in his season debut, Thompson showcased his all-around skills in his second game. He played 19 minutes and scored 14 points. Thompson also played strong defense and was more than just a scorer.
Thompson was a team-high plus-17 in plus-minus.
The Warriors looked lost at times with Thompson on the bench, and Jordan Poole was a game-worst minus-17.
Steph vs. Ja
This is why the game doesn't end after one quarter. If it did, the story would be all about Ja Morant. Curry started off ice cold but only got better as the game went on.
Curry only scored three points in the first quarter, all from free throws. Morant looked like the star of the night and put up 15 points in the first frame.
Their stat lines looked much different after four quarters. Curry wound up scoring 27 points with 10 assists and 10 rebounds. It was his ninth career triple-double.
But Morant scored clutch shots down the stretch and finished with a game-high 29 points. He also had eight assists and five rebounds.
Curry and Morant will be All-Star teammates, and could both be MVP candidates at the end of the season.
Draymond Green's absence, as always, was felt right from the start. The Warriors allowed the Grizzlies to go on a 14-0 run at one point, and then a 13-0 run in the third quarter.
Green is averaging a career-high 3.1 turnovers per game this season but he often is the steady hand of the Warriors' offense, especially when they need to put a fire out. It's always clear how much the Warriors miss Green on defense. Draymond was needed just as much on offense in Memphis.
The Warriors finished with 17 turnovers, and the Grizzlies scored 26 points off them. Golden State finished with only 25 assists and the Grizzlies had 30. The Grizzlies also had 58 points in the paint, a number that likely would have been much lower with Green in the game.
Juan Toscano-Anderson started for Draymond and Morant was driving right by him early in the first quarter. JTA was a minus-8 and played only seven minutes.
It's unknown at this time when Green will return. With games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls on Thursday and Friday, and then vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, it won't be easy if Draymond can't go.