Splash Brothers Send Warriors to Western Conference Finals | Ncaa basketball

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are enjoying this playoff streak a little more as they’ve spent the last couple of years watching the postseason instead of their familiar positions chasing championships.

Now, with these seasoned faces and a roster of new stars, the Warriors are headed for yet another Western Conference Finals and need just four more wins to have a title shot again.

They will build on the experience of Curry, Green, Thompson and Kevon Looney having been here so many times.

“It’s unbelievable to know what we’ve been through the last two years and six of the last eight years we’ve had the opportunity to play in the finals,” said Curry, who led his team to five straight finals in 2015-19. “I think me, Draymond, Klay, Loon, we’ve been in this position before. We understand the emotions, the adrenaline, how much you want it, how difficult it is. … Never take it for granted and understand that’s what this is all about, and so for us to have another opportunity to get four more wins and play for a trophy, that’s special. ”

For Thompson, that means a lot, as he returned in January from more than 2.5 years of recovery from surgery on his left knee and right Achilles tendon.

Golden State grabbed 70 rebounds – 22 from Looney after Curry and Green pressured him to start again – en route to eliminating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-86 on Friday night and now advance to face the Suns or Mavericks in a best campaign. of seven battle to the West. Game 7 of that series is Sunday in Phoenix to determine who’s next for the Warriors.

Thompson scored 30 points with eight 3-pointers, adding another Game 6 masterpiece to his long list of them.

“I have no idea. I have no idea,” he said, “I love the moments. I love the pressure. I love playing basketball at the highest level.”

New faces like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are playing big roles during this postseason. Golden State suddenly also have a raucous crowd at the Chase Center, where the Warriors are 6-0 so far in these playoffs.

And it looks a bit like the old Oracle Arena these days.

“I think these fans knew what we were up against,” Green said. It was good work. But our fans were absolutely amazing tonight. It took everything we had to win that game, including the support of the fans and the noise that was in the arena.

This time around, Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson could let loose on their own floor, while their own fans chanted “Whoop that trick.”

They loved every second of it. Golden State is happening, the Grizzlies are going home to Memphis for good.

The Warriors have certainly endured their share of drama and unforeseen stress to get this far.

Golden State faced two-time MVP champion Nikola Jokic in a five-game first-round series with the Nuggets, then passed Ja Morant and Memphis in a series full of conversations between the rivals. The Grizzlies eliminated the Warriors in a play-in game last season.

First, Gary Payton II fell out for the rest of the postseason with a fractured left elbow in a hard foul by Dillon Brooks that led to the Memphis star’s one-game suspension for Flagrant 2 committed when he punched Payton in the head while drove. for a layup in Game 2.

Morant was injured in Game 3 and accused Poole of re-injuring his right knee by pulling on it as they struggled for a loose ball.

Coach Steve Kerr caught COVID-19 and sat out Games 4, 5 and 6 with Mike Brown, the interim head coach of two teams at once, as he had just been named the Sacramento Kings’ new pick last season. Sunday.

“What an amazing series,” Brown said.

While Kerr’s return date remains uncertain, Brown led the Warriors to a 12-1 mark during the playoffs. That includes an 11-0 run during the 2017 championship with Kerr sidelined and dealing with debilitating symptoms that were a complication of back surgery two years earlier.

“Mike B. is unique. He is a player’s coach. He’s a great leader. He loves the game,” Thompson said. “We will miss him next year, obviously. But let’s welcome Steve back with open arms. He is our leader.”

Green joined the post-game podium with son DJ, while the forward shared a story of watching the Cabo San Lucas playoffs last year, acknowledging, “It’s good to be back.”

“I used to take it for granted and just think this is how it should be, we should do the Western Conference Finals,” Green said. “The reality is that I still think this, but I have a much deeper appreciation for it. It’s so hard. It just seems to get harder and harder and harder.

“And to miss the playoffs for the last couple of years, I remember sitting in Cabo last year watching the playoffs and don’t get me wrong, I love Cabo, it was great to be in that seat watching the playoffs, but it was brutal to watch.”

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