By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)-This kind of playoff win three years ago made for Klay Thompson, who suffered countless hours of rehab and heart pain to reach this point again.
And after another amazing shooting performance on the big stage, coach Mike Brown just wanted to give a congratulatory hug.
However, Thompson told Brown how much he will miss him next season when Brown replaces the Sacramento Kings – but they still have a lot of basketball left.
Thompson knocked down eight 3-pointers to 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six 3s, and the Warriors outscored the Memphis Grizzlies with a 110-96 win in Game 6 on Friday night.
A trip to the Western Conference finals is next, and coach Steve Kerr should be healthy from his fight at COVID-19.
“Actually, especially the insight I’ve gained from the injuries I’ve sustained, that I’m now able to compete at the highest level and be one of the last four teams, it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe in really, “Thompson said. It’s so amazing and it inspires me to keep going because I think we still have good basketball ahead of me.
Curry was late hitting his shot and made two consecutive baskets for a 78-77 lead on entry in the final 12 minutes. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Kevon Looney returned to the starting lineup and grabbed 22 rebounds while Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth with a pair of timely 3s.
Curry and Green pushed Looney to a start after it was scrutinized by the Warriors on their trip home from Memphis after an embarrassing loss on Wednesday.
Golden State-sent home to Memphis in last year’s play-in tournament-weathered a dangerous series to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2019, when the franchise reached its fifth consecutive NBA Finals before losing to Toronto .
The third-seeded Warriors will face the Phoenix-Dallas winner in the conference finals. Game 7 of the series is on Sunday in Phoenix.
Thompson returned to shine in the playoffs after his 2 1/2 year absence with a pair of serious injuries, first recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee and then a surgery for torn right Achilles tendon.
“He’s Klay. He’s hoping to get out there and play well,” Brown said. “We’re expecting him to get out there and play well.”
“Whoop that trick!” the happy, cheering crowd sang in the fading moments, the fans stole from Memphis.
“It’s great to see the fans embrace that,” Green said.
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points with a career-best seven 3-pointers but picked up his second flagrant foul of the series. Desmond Bane added 25.
Curry came back in the final 8:21 and gave up 3 with 5:45 remaining from Green’s beautiful bounce pass. Looney found Green for a quick dunk next time, ending a decisive 10-0 run.
Brooks considers the challenge of facing the Splash Brothers something that will improve Memphis.
“They know we come every year,” he said. “We’re kids, they’re getting older so they know we’re coming every year.”
After a 134-95 loss on Wednesday on the Grizzlies ’home floor where they were left with 55 points, the Warriors are determined to do everything better, especially cutting 22 turnovers to 29 points.
The Warriors outscored the Grizzlies 70-44, becoming the first team to grab 70 rebounds in a playoff game since San Antonio had 75 against Denver on May 4, 1983.
Bane scored the first two baskets of the game before the Warriors ran for 10 consecutive points, with a pair of layups by Green and a 3 by Curry and Thompson.
Looney started after Jonathan Kuminga had the last three games after guard Gary Payton II was injured. He broke his left elbow in an awkward fall after hitting Brooks in the head in Game 2 that gave Brooks a Flagrant 2 foul and a game suspension.
He was ridiculed again every time by the sales people at the Chase Center. When Payton appeared on the big screen during the timeout in the first quarter, he received a staggering ovation and touched his hand to his heart before they were encouraged to speed up.
Memphis also played without All-Star guard Ja Morant, who missed his third consecutive game due to a bone fracture in his troubled right knee that the Grizzlies blamed for pulling Jordan Poole’s knee. while shouldering the ball in Game 3.
“Ja is one of the best point guards in this league, so you know it’s obviously going to change,” Brooks said. “But we did what we had.”
Thompson fired 11 for 22 – 8 of 14 from long range – and posted his fourth career postseason game with eight 3s to tie Ray Allen, Curry, and Damian Lillard for most of NBA history. .
“We’re going on a two -year hiatus from the playoffs and mostly because of his absence,” Green said.
Grizzlies: Brooks had three bright points and finished one from an automatic one -game suspension. … Memphis missed its last 10 innings in the second quarter. … The Grizzlies held a 55-37 rebounding advantage in Game 5.
Warriors: Curry was 6 for 17 from deep. … Looney’s 11 first-quarter rebounds were a career high in any quarter. … Si F Otto Porter Jr. came out because of pain in his right leg. … Veteran Andre Iguodala, who remains sideline with a left cervical disc injury, is scheduled to be re-examined next week.
The Warriors had a playoff game on Friday the 13th for the second time in franchise history, previously when they defeated the Bucks 100-86 on April 13, 1973, in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals to win the series 4-2, according to of Elijah.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.