Programming note: Grizzlies-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – With the Warriors’ pursuit of a record 73rd win creating a huge sideshow Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, Memphis would like nothing more than to spoil the evening.
The Grizzlies will have to play far above their heads, of course, but they proved last Saturday, in pushing the Warriors for a full 48 minutes, that they are capable of exactly that.
Which is why the Warriors (72-9) realize victory must be earned, probably the hard way. They’ll get a boost from a delirious home crowd, as folks have forked over as much as five figures to obtain tickets for the chance to witness history.
The Grizzlies (42-39) have lost several key players but remain true to their gritty spirit, nabbing a playoff berth last week and scaring the joy out of even the most talented opponents.
In other words, the headlining Warriors invite trouble if they view the Grizzlies as mere props in the show.
Warriors by 18.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green et al vs. Zach Randolph: With Marc Gasol and Mike Conley out, Randolph is the only member of Memphis’ core trio to finish on his feet. He’s still a load, but Green battles him from tip to horn and usually fares well against his fellow Michigan State product. He’ll get plenty of help from the likes of Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (R hip inflammation) is listed as out.
Grizzlies: G/F Tony Allen (L hamstring soreness) is listed as questionable. C Marc Gasol (R foot fracture), G Mike Conley (L Achilles tendinitis), F Brandan Wright (R MCL sprain) and G Jordan Adams (R knee surgery) are listed as out.
The Warriors won the last five meetings, including the first three this season: 119-69 on Nov. 2 in Oakland; 100-84 on Nov. 11 in Memphis; and 100-99 on April 9 in Memphis. Prior to last season, the Warriors had lost 11 of 13 meetings.
“It should be a pretty electric atmosphere, like it is every night when we play at Oracle. Just the magnitude of the game and what it means historically, it should be a fun 48 minutes and, hopefully, a night we’ll remember for a long time.” – Steph Curry on his expectations Wednesday night