The Golden State Warriors have added to their ever-growing list of shocking losses this season, falling to an incredibly short-handed Memphis Grizzlies team at FedExForum on Monday.
Despite a positive individual return from veteran forward Draymond Green, a host of careless turnovers in the fourth-quarter allowed the Grizzlies to overrun the Warriors after the visitors had led at the end of each of the first three-quarters.
The Golden State Warriors have been thrown into further peril after a 116-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on MLK Day
Playing without much of their first-choice rotation, including stars Ja Morant and Desmond Bane along with off-season acquisition Marcus Smart, the Grizzlies simply played harder and more efficiently than their more fancied opponents.
Golden State held a six-point lead at the end of the first period and retained a seven-point advantage late in the third-quarter, yet lost the final period 31-21 against a team led by relative unknowns in GG Jackson (23 points, six rebounds) and Vince Williams Jr. (24 points, seven rebounds, four assists).
The Grizzlies made 20 three-pointers in the game, signalling the most the Warriors have conceded in a game this season. The home team also got to the free-throw line on 40 occasions compared to Golden State's 10, while they also had eight less turnovers and four more offensive rebounds.
Those numbers were never going to amount to a good result for the Warriors, particularly given they shot just 32.3% from three-point range themselves. Golden State's fourth-quarter turnovers were particularly jarring, though credit does have to go to Memphis who made things difficult for Stephen Curry and company.
After sitting out his team's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Curry had 16 points and five assists in an impressive first-half from the two-time MVP. However, the 35-year-old was limited to just 10 points in the second-half, with his 26 coming alongside a game-high five turnovers.
It was an even bigger struggle for fellow splash brother Klay Thompson who had nine points on 4-of-10 shooting while posting a game-low -22. The Warriors did most of their work on the interior, led by third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga who posted his third consecutive 20-point game with another impressive 20-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Green played 23:30 in his return from a 16-game absence, having a positive impact early with five points in the first-quarter after coming off the bench. The former Defensive Player of the Year had seven points, seven rebounds and four assists, finishing as one of only three Warriors with a positive plus-minus.
Andrew Wiggins had 16 points and five rebounds for Golden State but was quiet in the fourth, while Dario Saric completed the quartet of scorers in double figures with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the starting power-forward.
The Warriors have now fallen further into the mire with an 18-22 record. They'll travel to Utah to finish out their four-game road-trip against the red-hot Jazz on Wednesday.