Warriors 117, Grizzlies 86


Andris Biedrins had 21 points and 17 rebounds, and the Warriors climbed within a half-game of eighth place in the Western Conference with a 117-86 victory over the Grizzlies on Friday night.

"This was a game for us to get our confidence and get our game back together because we're still fighting for this playoff push," Warriors forward Stephen Jackson said.

Golden State, which was blown out of consecutive games at San Antonio and Dallas this week, had six players in double figures. Monta Ellis scored 19 points, while Kelenna Azubuike added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson finished with 14 points, Marco Belinelli had a career-high 13 and Brandan Wright scored 10.

The Warriors are a half-game behind idle Denver for the final playoff spot in the West. Biedrins shot 8-of-11 from the field and grabbed five offensive rebounds.

"This was a really important game," Biedrins said. "We still have a good chance to make the playoffs. We didn't put our heads down after those two losses. We'll just keep fighting."

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 23 points, while Hakim Warrick finished with 13 and Kyle Lowry had 12.

The intensity level reflected the contrast between the two teams -- the Warriors fighting for a playoff spot, and the Grizzlies just trying to finish the season. And Memphis' performance wasn't anything like its previous game Wednesday -- a 130-114 victory over the equally hapless New York Knicks, when the Grizzlies shot 60 percent and had eight players in double figures.

"Golden State's fighting to get that spot in the playoffs," Memphis guard Mike Conley said. "They definitely played like they were hungry, and they weren't going to let us back in the game. You could tell that by the way they came out in the first quarter and especially in the third quarter, when they went on a pretty good run against us."

The win gave the Warriors a season sweep of Memphis. Golden State, which has won seven straight over Memphis, had not recorded a four-game sweep of the Grizzlies since 1995-96, although the Warriors won all three games in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.

Biedrins dominated the middle, spinning around Memphis defenders and connecting on high-percentage inside shots. Ellis also was getting to the basket, including several on fast breaks, and Memphis seemed unwilling to get in the Warriors' way.

"I think in the beginning (the Grizzlies) were concentrating more on our outside shooters," Biedrins said. "On the pick-and-roll, there were a lot of times the middle was open, or I got the offensive rebound because everybody was outside guarding our 3-point shooters."

Biedrins already had his 21st double-double of the season with 9 minutes left in the first half, and the Warriors built a 19-point lead before carrying a 60-46 advantage into the dressing room.

As is the case with both teams, there was little defense, but the Warriors converted Memphis' lack of resistance into 56 percent shooting in the first half, and finished the night shooting 54 percent.

"When you shoot good from the perimeter, it makes it difficult for the defense," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "They caught us in some pick-and-roll decisions whether we trapped or switched. When we zoned them, they were good on the perimeter."

Golden State continued to pull away after halftime, starting with a 7-1 run as Memphis missed seven of its first eight shots. The Warriors held a 28-point lead in the third and led 90-66 entering the fourth.

By that point, Memphis was shooting 39 percent from the field, including only 4-of-16 outside the arc. Golden State eventually would lead by 33.

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