Andrew Wiggins gave Golden State the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 6:29 to go and the Warriors earned a sixth trip to the Western Conference finals in the past eight years with a 110-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday in Game 6 of their first-round series in San Francisco.
Klay Thompson had a game-high-tying 30 points, Stephen Curry added 29 and Kevon Looney led a dominant effort on the boards with a career-high 22 rebounds for the third-seeded Warriors, who successfully rebounded from a 39-point shellacking in Game 5 at Memphis.
The Warriors, who won three championships between 2015 and ’18 but missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons, will face either top-seeded Phoenix or fourth-seeded Dallas in the Western finals. The Suns host the Mavericks in a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.
After neither team led by more than nine points in a tightly contested first three quarters, the sides traded the lead three times and mixed in a pair of ties before Wiggins buried his go-ahead 3-pointer for a 90-89 advantage.
Wiggins then added a dunk, Curry a 3-pointer and Draymond Green a dunk off a Looney assist as Golden State scored the next seven points to go up 97-89 with 5:04 remaining.
The second-seeded Grizzlies, who effectively lost home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series with a home loss in Game 1, got no closer than seven after that.
Thompson’s 30 points came on 11-for-22 shooting, including 8-for-14 from 3-point range. Curry hit 10 of his 27 shots and six of his 17 3-point attempts. They combined for 14 of Golden State’s 20 3-pointers, as the Warriors outscored the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies 60-45 from beyond the arc.
Wiggins finished with 18 points and Jordan Poole had 12 for Golden State. Green dished out a game-high-tying eight assists to complement a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double.
Golden State overcame 19 turnovers by outrebounding Memphis 70-44, including 25-10 on the offensive boards. Half of Looney’s 22 rebounds, eight more than he’d ever previously recorded in a playoff game and four more than he ever had a regular-season game, came on the offensive end.
Wiggins was a third Warrior with double-digit rebounds, grabbing 10 to complete the team’s second double-double.
Memphis’ Dillon Brooks, who served a one-game suspension earlier for a flagrant foul that knocked Gary Payton II out of the series, matched Thompson for game-high scoring honors with 30 points. He made 7 of 15 long-range attempts.
Desmond Bane buried four 3-pointers on a 25-point night for the Grizzlies, while Jaren Jackson Jr. added 12 points and four blocks. Steven Adams had a team-high 10 rebounds and Tyus Jones logged seven points, eight assists and nine rebounds.