The Golden State Warriors won Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies 101-98 on Monday night, earning them a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals. The series will now advance to Game 5 on Wednesday, May 11.
During the final 45.7 seconds of the game, Stephen Curry contributed eight free throws for 32 points, leading the Warriors to victory.
Steve Kerr missed the game due to a positive COVID-19 test that came less than two hours before tipoff, but the Warriors rallied to win without him.
On the other hand, head coach Mike Brown reported that he agreed to become the Sacramento Kings’ new coach after this postseason run.
“Obviously there’s butterflies, because again you’re going into the game with a certain mindset and it’s a big game. Every game that we play at this point in the year, it’s huge,” said Brown.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson said Brown’s record for Warrior’s playoff games was unmatched.
“We did miss Steve a lot, just his voice, his presence, but we’ve been here before, 2017 when Mike took over and we rolled off a lot of wins, so I reflected on that a lot.”
Dillon Brooks returns to court
Curry led his team to become one win away from their first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance in nearly two years. In the game’s dying seconds, he drained two free throws to give the Warriors an advantage and their first lead of the night at 94-93.
“Nothing we figured out, it was just don’t let the first three quarters influence the fact that we still had a chance to win the game,” said Curry. “Shoot the shots you think you can make, play aggressive, take care of the ball. We did all of those things.”
Memphis played without injured All-Star Ja Morant, but Tyus Jones came through with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Dillon Brooks struggled hard after returning from a one-game suspension, making just 5 for 19 with 12 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.
The Warriors’ cold-shooting offense was aided by Andrew Wiggins’Wiggins’s 17 points and 10 rebounds and Tristan Thompson’s 14 points. He, however, missed seven of his 3-point attempts.
Brooks’ flagrant foul against Morant
In Game 2, Brooks was sent out after hitting Golden State guard Gary Payton II in the head on a driving layup attempt, causing Payton to fall hard and fracture his left elbow. Brooks was accused of breaking an NBA rule of conduct, with Kerr saying he committed a “dirty play”. Morant’s status for Game 5 in Memphis on Wednesday remained unknown.
It seemed that Grizzlies fans still remembered Brook’s foul against Ja Morant as he was booed nearly every time he touched the ball, fouled, or did anything in the game.
“He forced a couple. Trying to get his groove back,” Jenkins said. “Obviously he’s been off for a couple of days. But when he was playing with force under control, I loved the playmaking that he had.”
Desmond Bane’s 32-foot 3-pointer beat the third-quarter buzzer. Golden State entered the fourth quarter and trailed 69-62. Despite winning, the Warriors had a difficult time hitting their 3-point attempts throughout the game.