The Memphis Grizzlies blew out the Warriors 134-95 Wednesday night at home to force a game 6 matchup. Memphis’ dominant performance came without star player Ja Morant, who is doubtful for the rest of the postseason with an injury. 

The Grizzlies totally eviscerated a lackluster Warriors side and led by as many as 55 points in the third quarter. They outscored Golden State 38-18 in the first quarter, 39-22 in the second and 42-17 in the third. A trio of Memphis starters, Jaren Jackson Jr., Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane, put up 21 points each in the win. Four other Grizzlies got double-digit points including 11 points from both Brandon Clarke and Ziaire Williams. 

Disappointing Warriors Performance 

The Warriors had 22 turnovers, 14 of them coming in the first half. Klay Thompson led the team with 19 points; Jonathan Kuminga added 17. Golden State as a whole was 36 of 80 from the field, including 14-of-39 from 3-point range. 

“It was awful. It was embarrassing,” Thompson said after the loss. “Sometimes basketball’s an exact science and we played like a shell of ourselves.”

Golden State forward Otto Porter Jr. was ruled out for the second half with right foot soreness after playing 12 minutes in the first half (zero points). He had 25 points over the prior two games. The Warriors were led by assistant Mike Brown for the second straight game as head coach Steve Kerr remains in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The series will return to San Francisco for Game 6 on Friday.

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Warriors Improvements For Game 6. 

The big players need to perform better. Draymond Green must defend better and play bigger. Steph Curry must shoot the ball better if the Warriors are to stand any chance. Klay Thompson whose shooting has been erratic all series must also start to find his rhythm again. Jordan Poole is another one who has somewhat gone off the boil. He needs to rediscover his groove. He had a horrible Game 4 and 5. The Warriors beat a shorthanded Denver team and are now struggling to get past Memphis. The Grizzlies have shown that they can be an excellent team even without their star player Ja Morant.