OAKLAND — You didn’t have to convince Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale that, despite Kevin Durant’s injury, the Golden State Warriors remain a problem for the league.
“They’re still great,” the first-year coach warned pregame Sunday. “… There’s still a championship environment over there without him.”
The team fostered that atmosphere by riding the best-shooting backcourt of all time, and it showed Sunday in the Warriors’ 106-94 win, which tied the season series against the Grizzlies at two apiece.
Klay Thompson made nine-straight shots after starting the night two-for-seven. He finished with 31 points, including 7-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc. He missed one attempt in the second half.
“He’s got no conscience. It doesn’t matter what happened before,” Stephen Curry said after the game.
Curry rounded out the Splash Brother dynamic by hitting five 3-pointers en route to 21 points. (He also had 11 assists, marking his second-straight double-double.)
The pair already account for more than 500 combined 3-pointers for the season — their third consecutive year reaching that threshold — and each are marching toward respective spots in the top 10 for most made long balls in a season.
“I’ve been on both ends, I’m glad it’s with me now instead of against me,” said former Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies swingman Matt Barnes.
Golden State rode the hot-shooting of Curry, Thompson and Andre Iguodala (7-for-8) to a 54.2 percent night from the field. Making more than half of their shots has been advantageous for the Warriors this season as they’ve gone 33-0 when finishing that well.
“I think we have been pretty comfortable offensively during this winning streak,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “It took some time — it took maybe a little rest as well after we got home from that long trip, but we’ve had some good games offensively just moving the ball.”
The Warriors “moved the ball” to the tune of 30 assists on 39 baskets.
The shotmaking is what electrified Oracle Arena, but in terms of importance to the members of the team, the difference in the game was the team’s continued solid outing on the defensive end of the floor.
The Warriors held their opponent to 100 or fewer points for the sixth-straight game.
“When we can get stops and get out and run and hit a couple of 3-pointers, that really gives our team a good charge,” Kerr said.
And the Warriors will need that boost as they navigate their remaining nine games on the schedule — five of those against playoff teams — which continues Tuesday in Houston.
5 best seasons for made 3-pointers
1. Curry, 402, 2015-16
2. Curry, 286, 2014-15
3. Curry, 282, 2016-17
4. Thompson, 276, 2015-16
5. Curry, 272, 2012-13
13. Thompson, 238, 2016-17