The Golden State Warriors can win without three starters, even when the two remaining starters are enduring sub-par shooting nights. The Memphis Grizzlies, who visit the Warriors on Wednesday, don’t deal quite as well with injuries and are losers of 17 of their last 19 games.
Golden State stretched its winning streak to nine straight with a 116-114 overtime win at the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday despite being without starters Stephen Curry (ankle), Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) and Draymond Green (shoulder) as well as key reserve Shaun Livingston (knee). Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are carrying the team of late, and Durant continues to find ways to come through even when his shot isn’t falling early. The Grizzlies have gone through much of their tailspin without starting point guard Mike Conley, who will be out at least two more weeks due to an Achilles injury. “I don’t think about records,” Memphis center Marc Gasol told reporters. “I don’t think about wins. I think you guys know me enough to know that I don’t think about the end result as much as how you get there and the things you need to do to get there. The importance of processing with this team is huge. It’s not so much about winning or losing, it’s more about the things you need to do today to improve as a team to actually be a good team again.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Southeast (Memphis), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (9-21): Gasol is the unquestioned leader of the team with Conley out and is trying to coax his younger teammates into good habits. “The effort is something that has got to be constant,” Gasol told reporters after a 102-93 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. “Mistakes will be made for sure; hopefully we can cut them down. We’ve got to be able to execute what we work on better defensively and offensively, be a little less predictable, having more reads and plays that are not for us, being triggers for all the guys, and defensively having better communication. That should give us more trust.” Gasol is averaging 19.1 points and 8.6 rebounds but is shooting a career-low 42.3 percent from the floor.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (24-6): Durant and Thompson combined to go 16-of-53 from the floor on Monday, but each managed a double-double and Durant finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks. The former MVP is taking his game to another level in the absence of Curry and is averaging 34.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists and three blocks in five games since his fellow former MVP went down. Thompson is averaging 21.8 points in those five games and shot 50.7 percent from the floor in the first four before struggling to 6-of-24 in Monday’s win.
1. Livingston, Green, Pachulia and Warriors SG Nick Young (concussion) are all day-to-day while Curry is not expected to play on Wednesday.
2. Grizzlies G Tyreke Evans is averaging 23.5 points in two games since returning from a hip injury.
3. Gasol collected 34 points and 14 rebounds in Memphis’ 111-101 home win over Golden State on Oct. 21.
PREDICTION: Warriors 109, Grizzlies 101