How Dubs' path to eighth seed cleared by key Brooks foul

Draymond Green and Steph Curry celebrate

One play changed the course of the Warriors' eighth-seed-clinching win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks fouled out with 6:12 remaining in the Warriors' 113-101 victory at Chase Center, clearing the way for Golden State to make a decisive 22-10 run after one of Memphis' most impactful defenders was forced to sit.

StatMuse's framing could refer to the a quirk in the NBA's play-by-play log. It was a 22-10 run from the point after Brooks picked up his sixth and final foul, and 21-10 after the point he was listed as having substituted off the floor.

No matter how you slice it, the Grizzlies felt Brooks' absence. He was a team-high plus-7, and the only Memphis starter to finish with a positive plus/minus. Brooks was tasked with guarding NBA scoring champion Steph Curry for much of the night, and he scored 18 points and dished out six assists. 

After Brooks fouled out, Curry went to work.

In the final 6:12 of regulation, the two-time NBA MVP scored 11 of his 46 points. Curry scored or assisted on four of the Warriors' final six field goals.

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The Warriors and Grizzlies could play again this week. If the Warriors lose Wednesday to the Portland Trail Blazers or Los Angeles Lakers and the Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs that same night, Golden State will host Memphis on Friday.


Brooks will be keen to avoid foul trouble that night at Chase Center, as his absence proved he's the Grizzlies' best -- and, possibly, only -- hope of containing Curry.

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