Andre Iguodala (left) and Stephen Curry (right) take the podium post game. - Photo by F.D. Purcell
Sounds of the chant 'Warriors' permeated throughout ORACLE Arena for the 128th consecutive sellout crowd of 15,596. A totally different energy than the Wednesday before when the leagues MVP Steph Curry was honored in a pregame ceremony. That night Golden State received their third loss in three months but Wednesday night was different.
After struggling in Game 3 and snagging a win in Game 4 in Memphis Golden State got their regular season playing mojo back upon returning to ORACLE for Game 5 versus the Memphis Grizzlies breaking their 2-2 tie 98-78.
"This win is significant to win the series, we would love to win on the road. You have to try to get it done when you can, you can't mess around. We have to play the defense we played the last few games," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr afterwards.
Golden State ended a 18-year Game 5 losing streak dating back to May 3, 1987 against the Utah Jazz in their victory.
"This is the kind of defense that is going to be what it takes to close the series out," Kerr added.
The Grizzlies started out the gate making it their game leading by as much as 13 in the first quarter until Golden State found their rhythm capitalizing on rebounds and a jump start of offensive by Curry in the second quarter.
Forward Klay Thompson lead all scorers with 21-points, Curry was second with 18 but it would be the Warriors bench that would be the spark finishing with 32-points versus Memphis' 17.
"I don't think Shaun Livingston gets the credit he deserves as a low length defender and he gives them stability," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger afterward. "Their bench has been tremendous."
For Memphis, they're looking just forward to getting back to the drawing board and Game 6 Friday at FedEx Forum.
"We are going to execute a litle better," said Memphis center Marc Gasol.
Playing without one of their key players in Tony Allen, Memphis certainly missed the 'juice' that Allen brings as well as the defensive threat according to head coach David Joerger.
"We really missed that from Tony tonight, let alone what he does as a defender, which I could go on and on for that," said Joerger.
The Warriors capitalized on the loss executing effectively and Kerr feels his team has yet to reach their playing potential.
"I don't think we've hit our strive yet with the way they're playing us offensively."
Golden State looks to close out the series Friday in Memphis at FedEx Forum. Should they tie the series they will play a Game 7 at ORACLE Sunday.