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Warriors make Grizzlies pay, three points at a time

5/3/2015

The Golden State Warriors were third in the NBA during the regular season in 3-point shooting, making 38 percent of their shot attempts.

Allowed to shoot half of their 3-pointers while uncontested in Sunday’s Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors performed as one might have expected: They hurt the Grizzlies severely.

We look at the key stats from the Warriors’ 101-86 win.

Warriors thrive when shots aren’t uncontested

The Warriors took half of their 3-pointers in Game 1 against the Grizzlies without a defender contesting the shot. The Warriors were 9-of-14 (64 percent) on uncontested 3-pointers, including 7-of-9 (78 percent) on open catch-and-shoots.

The Warriors averaged 112.6 points per 100 possessions in Game 1, their highest offensive efficiency against the Grizzlies this season. The Warriors are 43-2 this season when posting an offensive efficiency of 110 or better.

Will the Grizzlies change their defensive assignments in Game 2?

Klay Thompson was guarded by Tony Allen on eight of his 11 field-goal attempts in the half-court offense in Game 1. Thompson shot 5-of-8 (63 percent) with 11 points when guarded by Allen, who limited opponents to 39 percent shooting in Round 1.

Stephen Curry was guarded by an assortment of backcourt players with Mike Conley missing Game 1.

When defended by a guard (Courtney Lee, Nick Calathes, Beno Udrih) on Sunday, Curry scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting (3-of-6 on 3-pointers). When defended by a forward (Jeff Green or Allen), Curry scored three points on 1-of-4 shooting. Curry also scored four points in transition.

Little support behind Grizzlies’ big men

The Grizzlies had their most success on offense in Game 1 when getting Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph involved, but they struggled when neither handled the ball.

When Gasol and/or Randolph had a touch, the Grizzlies shot 51 percent (19-of-37) and scored 54 points on 52 plays (1.04 points per play). The two big men combined for 41 points and created 20 points off their passes.

When neither Gasol nor Randolph had a touch, the Grizzlies shot 39 percent (14-of-36) and scored 32 points on 48 plays (0.67 point per play).

Looking ahead

Before the series, ESPN’s BPI gave the Warriors an 80 percent chance to win the series. After Sunday’s Game 1 victory, the Warriors’ likelihood of a series win increased to 86 percent.