Posted November 01, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Golden State Warriors seem to be buying into a different approach - similar to the one that worked for the Memphis Grizzlies last season.
Unlike Memphis, Golden State used a strong defensive effort to win its season opener and will try to continue that trend Friday night to avoid a seventh consecutive loss to the Grizzlies.
While the Warriors look to open 2-0 for just the second time since 1994, Memphis hopes not to repeat last year's 0-2 start. The Grizzlies, though, went on to post the best winning percentage in franchise history (41-25) while Golden State finished with the Western Conference's third-worst record (23-43).
The Warriors allowed more than 100 points per game for the sixth straight season, but now they're placing more of a focus on the defensive end under second-year coach Mark Jackson.
Golden State hasn't ranked better than 12th among 15 West teams in scoring defense since 2003-04. The team was 28th in the NBA in points allowed (101.2) a year ago.
A season-opening 87-85 victory at Phoenix on Wednesday marked the Warriors' third win since 2006 in which it scored less than 90 points. They forced 18 turnovers while holding the Suns to 40.0 percent from the field - 4 of 21 from 3-point range - and 18 points in the fourth quarter.
"Since we've been in training camp, coach Jackson and his staff have put an emphasis on defense and getting stops and that's what we try to do," said Carl Landry, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth.
Memphis didn't do as well defensively Wednesday, letting the Los Angeles Clippers score 28 in the fourth and shoot 51.4 percent overall in a 101-92 defeat.
The Grizzlies, though, did have 14 steals and force 22 turnovers after leading the NBA in both categories last season with averages of 9.6 and 17.1, respectively. They also allowed a conference-low 93.0 points per game.
Their NBA-record streak of opening-game losses reached 12, but Memphis has a good chance to bounce back Friday after sweeping all four meetings with the Warriors last season. The Grizzlies have shot 50.1 percent from the field during their six-game win streak in the series.
They weren't nearly as efficient offensively Wednesday, committing 18 turnovers and shooting 38.4 percent - 2 for 14 from 3-point range.
"Our turnovers and our inability to make layups in the first half really limited us because when you get the ball inside you have to be able to finish and we couldn't do that," coach Lionel Hollins said.
While Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had solid games with 25 and 20 points, respectively, Zach Randolph added 15 with 16 rebounds. He missed more than 2 1-2 months last season after tearing the MCL in his right knee.
"Our team just has to get better," Randolph said. "We will put this one behind us and get ready for Golden State."
The Warriors received a boost Wednesday with the return of center Andrew Bogut, who had eight points and six rebounds in 18 1/2 minutes in his first game since breaking his left ankle Jan. 25.
"It's been a long time coming for me; it's been nine months since I've played basketball competitively," Bogut said. "I felt great, body felt great."
Teammate Stephen Curry wasn't nearly as pleased with his opener, going 2 of 14 from the field on the day he signed a four-year, $44 million extension. Curry, though, averaged 23.0 points in three meetings with Memphis last season.
Gay has averaged 27.6 points over his last five games in the Bay Area.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Golden State Warriors forward Brandon Rush had to be helped off the floor after he injured his left knee against the Memphis Grizzlies in Friday night's home opener.
Rush leaped in the air for a dunk when Zach Randolph fouled him with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Rush landed awkwardly, his knee bent badly and he tumbled to the floor.
Rush got up on one leg immediately, waved...
Andrew Bogut is still nursing an ankle injury, and his status for tonight's opener against the Phoenix Suns is unknown. If Bogut plays, it will be a huge boost for the Golden State Warriors, a team looking to climb out of the cellar and into contention. The team, and most people around the league, realizes that Bogut will be a necessary part of any contender. Marcus Thompson...
Tweet The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry have agreed to a 4-year, $44 million extension before Wednesday’s deadline, per Bay Area News reporter Marcus Thompson. Curry is a dynamic point guard but has struggled with recurring ankle injuries and was limited to only 26 games last season. Curry had surgery on his right ankle [...]
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies have exercised the fourth-year option on swingman Quincy Pondexter, keeping him under contract through the 2013-14 season.
The team announced the move Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Pondexter averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.7 minutes last season for Memphis after being picked acquired in a trade from New Orleans...
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- When reporters entered the Golden State dressing room after Wednesday's season opener, Warrior stars Stephen Curry and David Lee joking covered their shoulders with towels and acted as if their teeth were chattering. "Don't come over here," Lee warned. "It's ice cold right here, man." But even with Curry and Lee combining to miss...
PHOENIX (AP) -- Carl Landry scored 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to beat the Phoenix Suns 87-85 in the teams' season opener Wednesday.
Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, 44 million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up...
Carl Landry scored 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to beat the Phoenix Suns 87-85 in the teams' season opener Wednesday.
Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, $44 million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up 2 of 14 with...
Andrew Bogut did full consecutive practices and should be good to go tonight. This is great news for Golden State and Coach Mark Jackson.
Bogut will play a huge role in the run that Golden State plans to make this season. Huge.
Andrew Bogut hasn't played in any preseason games.
Now he’s just got to stay healthy.
ALL THE WAY
While it's not surprising that a Blake Griffin dunk has made this website....this might be his first professional coast-to-coast slam to make it on Outside the Boxscore. Watch as Griffin corrals the rebound on the other side of the court and takes the distance for the two-handed slam against the Memphis Grizzlies:
The beef between Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin that was evident during the playoffs last season carried over into the 2012-2013 season. Randolph and Griffin tussled several times while going for rebounds during the season-opening game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. In the play seen above, Randolph just took down Griffin during the fourth quarter...
The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers clearly have some bad blood between them, but that in no way excuses the actions of Zach Randolph here. What he did to Griffin flagrant and dangerous. Randolph can’t even pretend like it was an accident or something that occurred during the play, it was just blatantly illegal.I would expect a fine coming, especially because it...
The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Aaron Barzilai as their analytics director.
Barzilai had served as analytics consultant for the Memphis Grizzlies since 2009. He was the sole advanced analytics consultant for the team and reported directly to general manager Chris Wallace. He assessed potential transactions, including trades, free-agent signings and draft picks.
Barzilai is the...
Brandon Rush was fouled in the air by Zach Randolph and landed awkwardly.