The gaudy numbers no longer matter for the Warriors. Ignore the league-best 67 wins, the league-best 28-13 road record, the undefeated record when holding opponents to fewer than 100 points – even the 5-0 start to these playoffs.
When the Warriors step onto the floor Monday night for Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals at FedEx Forum in Memphis, they'll be facing a Grizzlies team that believes it has solved the riddle that has baffled the NBA.
The underdog Grizzlies have won the last two games, once in Oakland and once in Memphis, pretty much wire-to-wire. The Warriors, understanding the gravity of the matter, are in full crisis mode. Can they pull it together for 48 minutes?
Only one number matters for the Warriors, and that's three. If they can avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, they pull even in the series and return to Oakland with homecourt advantage.
OPENING LINE: Warriors by 5.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: The Warriors don't beat the Grizzlies unless Curry gets the best of Conley. As good as Conley is, that's a reasonable expectation for the league's MVP. Curry not only has to outscore Conley by an appreciable margin but also must play a cleaner, more efficient overall game. If Curry is the best player on the floor, the Warriors almost certainly find a way.
Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green vs. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph: Memphis' Smash Brothers duo has had its way offensively in all three games so far. It's OK if they outscore the Warriors' bigs, but Green must stretch the defense to compromise Randolph. He hasn't done it since Game 1. It's imperative that Green and Bogut continue to be aggressive while also avoiding foul trouble.
Klay Thompson vs. Tony Allen: Thompson bounced back nicely in Game 3, proving he can indeed score against Allen's superb defense. The next stage is avoiding Allen's penchant for disrupting the offense. Thompson can't truly win this battle if Allen keeps inventing ways to take the ball away.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Limit turnovers: Too many times in each of the past two games, the Warriors made mental and physical errors resulting in turnovers. That's their kryptonite, has been all season.
2) Keep it moving: Ball movement in Game 3 was only slightly better than Game 1. Not good enough. The Dubs have to force the Grizzlies to make tough decisions on D.
3) Run, run, run: Memphis controlled pace in each of the past two games, with predictable results. The Warriors must use defense to fuel transition and tempo.
Warriors: F Marreese Speights (strained right calf) and C Ognjen Kuzmic (sprained left ankle) are listed as out.
Grizzlies: No injuries listed.
The Grizzlies hold a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series, the first playoff meeting between the teams. After losing 11 consecutive regular-season games to Memphis, the Warriors had won five of six prior to losing each of the past two games.