Warriors try to advance against Memphis

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors can reach the Western Conference Finals if they emerge victorious Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 at FedExForum.

The Warriors haven't been to the conference finals since the spring of 1976, the year after Golden State won the NBA title.

After they fell down 2-1 in this series, the Warriors have won two straight, both in convincing fashion. They won Game 4, 101-84, in Memphis on Monday, then trounced the Grizzlies, 98-78, at home Wednesday in Game 5.

The Warriors connected on 14 3-pointers Wednesday and most of the damage predictably came from the All-Star backcourt.

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 21 points, while NBA MVP Stephen Curry buried six from long range en route to 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

"He hasn't been forcing things, he's been allowing things to happen," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry's last two games.

The Warriors, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 39.8 percent during the regular season, made 14-of-30 from beyond the arc in Game 5.

"We had too many turnovers tonight," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "They lead to the 3-point shot."

That they did.

Curry forced six steals, continually leading Golden State to easy transition baskets at the other end. The Warriors held a 29-6 margin in fastbreak points. Nineteen points came off 16 Memphis turnovers.

"We sped the game up with our defensive activity," Kerr said.

The Warriors have now shot 45.1 percent (41-of-91) from long distance in their three series wins, while tallying just a 23.1 percent clip (12-of-52) in the two losses. Curry is 14-of-30 on his 3-point tries in the victories and just 4-of-21 in the defeats.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Harrison Barnes supplied 14 in the triumph.

Marc Gasol provided 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Zach Randolph added 13 points and 10 boards for the fifth-seeded Grizzlies, who raced out to an early lead.

Randolph made his first four shots from the field, including one from the top of the arc, as the Grizzlies led 13-4. The Warriors, though, closed the opening frame on a 16-2 run.

"That was the key stretch of the game at the end of the first quarter," Kerr said.

Curry nailed a trio of triples during the surge and his step-back in the waning seconds staked the hosts to a 26-25 edge.

Golden State never trailed again.

Memphis can expect a boost from a returning Tony Allen, the team's best perimeter defender. He missed Wednesday's game with a left hamstring injury, but vowed to play in Game 6.

"The juice that he brings. ... We really missed that from Tony tonight," Joerger said.

Game 7, if necessary, will be Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.