A pre-game taunt from Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry backfired in sensational fashion as the Memphis Grizzlies won Game 5 in a rout to extend their semi-final streak of the Western Conference.
Going into the game needing a win to stay alive, Memphis led as far as 52 points en route to a 134-95 blowout.
With the Warriors holding a 3-1 best-of-seven series lead heading into Game 5, Curry told ESPN reporter Kendra Andrews in a pregame chat that his team’s plan was to ” Whoop that Trick”, a knock on Terrence Howard’s 2005 song that became the Grizzlies’ unofficial theme song that season.
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The result was a laser-focused Grizzlies team that imposed one of the most brutal playoff beatdowns of Curry’s career, though he was still without injured All-Star guard Ja Morant.
With the Grizzlies holding a 46-point fourth quarter lead, the Memphis FedEx Forum DJ had fun with Curry’s taunts, playing the song through the speakers, as a laughing Curry and his teammate Draymond Green were dancing with the Grizzlies dance. the team and the home crowd during a time out.
“They’re not going ‘Whoop that Trick’ alone, we’re going ‘Whoop that Trick’ together if we’re going ‘Whoop that Trick’,” Green said of his exchange with the crowd.
“One thing I don’t respect is people who just bring it in and hug the crowds when they win, we call those favourites.
“We got our ass kicked, it’s ok, it happens, but you’re not the first. When you vomit it, you have to be ready to take it and not hide from it, not walk away from it , to kiss her.
“I enjoyed the crowd tonight and the energy they brought to the game. If they want to ‘Whoop that Trick’, we’ll do it together.”
Despite Green’s positivity, the NBA world had fun with Curry, who finished with just 14 points on four field goals, on social media.
Jaren Jackson Jr, Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points in the Memphis rout, with Bane looking particularly sharp after battling a back injury throughout the series.
The Grizzlies never trailed, putting in their best performance of this series to draw 3-2 even with Morant sitting out his second straight game with a bone bruise in his right knee. They improved to 4-11 in the face of elimination.
Memphis scored 77 points in the first half, the most in franchise playoff history. The Grizzlies extended their lead to 55 in the third quarter, threatening the three biggest playoff blowouts in NBA history. Their 52-point lead after three quarters tied for the biggest playoff game in 70 years.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 19 points. The Warriors are hoping to close the series at home in Game 6 on Saturday AEST in San Francisco.
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