Game 6 Klay Thompson is back and led the Golden State Warriors to their first Conference Finals trip since 2019 with a monumental 30-point, eight-rebound effort in the Warriors’ series-clinching 110-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The clutch win helps complete the Warriors’ revamp from missing the playoffs to regaining their luster this season. The season could be considered a success just because Thompson finally played his first game since losing nearly three years of his career due to a torn ACL and Achilles tear he suffered in back-to-back seasons.
“I knew it became routine in the 2010s for the Dubs, but that’s a special special opportunity. We do not take that lightly; we’re gonna keep our feet up the next couple days. Watch this Suns-Mavs Game 7. Get the popcorn ready. But it’s just—it’s so special; I’m gonna enjoy it tonight, and I’m going to be hungry when that time comes cause you can’t take it for granted. Nothing is guaranteed in sports.
Game 6 Klay ain’t nuthin’ to mess with.— SLAM (@SLAMonline) May 14, 2022
30 PTS | 8-14 3PM | 3 BLK pic.twitter.com/yaHS1j59LR
Out of Thompson’s eight three-pointers, none seemed to feel more satisfying than the 28-footer he hit to give the Warriors a 13-point lead with just under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Just one minute later, Stephen Curry hit a triple from the left corner to increase the lead to 16. The back-to-back daggers capped off a 32-point fourth quarter to escape with a WCF berth.
“Today, I was thinking about the last couple years and what this team has been through, and to have another closeout game at Chase Center, it gave me butterflies. I was nervous all day, but I was just having so much fun tonight, and I’m proud of this team for being so resilient.
The setup going into the pivotal final frame was the Warriors nearly giving away the game due to some poor decision-making (22 turnovers) and tough shot-making from Desmond Bane (25 points, seven rebounds) and Dillon Brooks (30 points). Their performances were matched by Andrew Wiggins, who finished Game 6 with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 15 boards, and eight dimes.
The solution to the Warriors’ messy play was a monumental fourth-quarter effort where they outpaced the Grizzlies with a 10-0 run to give the Dubs a 97-89 lead at the 5:04 mark. The lead ballooned to as much as 16 after Curry nailed a stepback J late in the fourth quarter, sending San Franciso into a frenzy, while Memphis took a punch to the chin that ended their memorable season and launched them back into the limelight.
Golden State will have four days to enjoy their win, and they will face the winner of the Phoenix-Dallas series next week.