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Grizzlies hope to stay alive against Warriors

The Memphis Grizzlies had control of their series against the league-best Golden State Warriors heading into Game 4 earlier this week, but the Warriors remembered they were the Warriors and put together two of their best all-around efforts of the season. Both Games 4 and 5 were blowouts, and now the Grizzlies face elimination coming back to The Grindhouse for Game 6.

Tony Allen should be back in the lineup for Game 6 after missing Game 5 with a hamstring injury. Memphis certainly needs its ace wing defender back to guard Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but he was ineffective in Game 4 and who knows how much he’ll be able to provide in this one because of the injury, which is supposedly a pretty bad one.

Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports

Allen or not, the Grizzlies need to find a way to score more efficiently against the stout Warriors defense. That’s much easier said than done, and Memphis has been brutal offensively in the last two games. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph need to be able to pound the ball inside, and it would be nice if there could be some semblance of outside shooting. The Grizzlies have never been a big three-point shooting team, but they’re getting basically nothing from out there, and it’s tough to win that way when the Warriors are raining threes.

Also, Memphis’ role players need to step up. That means guys like Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Vince Carter, Nick Calathes, Beno Udrih and Kosta Koufos. This plays into the three-point shooting thing, as it would be really helpful if one of these role guys caught fire from three. Lee is the most likely candidate, but he has been quiet the last two games. Meanwhile, Green has been really disappointing on the whole.

The Grizzlies have certainly been overmatched in the last two games, and they’re an underdog in this game at home. Memphis opened as a five-point dog, and the line is as high as six points at Bovada. The over/under is 193 points at Bovada but as high as 194 points at some other sportsbooks.

Even as an underdog, you can bet the Grizzlies won’t go down without a fight, especially with Allen back in the lineup. They’ll grit and grind to the very end, even if it’s not enough against the Warriors juggernaut.

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