Warriors' Klay Thompson: Game 5 vs. Grizzlies 'Going to Be the Hardest One Yet'

Erin WalshMay 10, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 9: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates during Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors enter Wednesday's Game 5 against the Memphis Grizzlies with a 3-1 series lead and the opportunity to close out their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

However, Warriors veteran Klay Thompson knows it won't be easy to put an end to things on the road at FedExForum.

"Wednesday's going to be the hardest one yet," Thompson told reporters Tuesday. "It always is. The closeout."

One thing complicating matters for the Warriors is they will be without head coach Steve Kerr for Game 5. The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania revealed on The Pat McAfee Show that Kerr is still in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

The Warriors have had the upper hand on the Grizzlies for much of this series, and they'll likely have the advantage Wednesday after Memphis announced that star point guard Ja Morant would be doubtful for the remainder of the playoffs with a knee injury.

That said, Golden State nearly blew the opportunity to take a 3-1 series lead in Game 4, having to mount a comeback victory against Memphis, which was also without Morant. The Warriors were also without Kerr for Game 4 and assistant Mike Brown filled in. 

The Dubs had one of their worst offensive games of the season Monday night, putting up just 38 points through the first two quarters and 62 points entering the fourth quarter. 

The Grizzlies have a number of key players, including Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., Tyus Jones and Steven Adams that have stepped up in Morant's absence. Of that group, Bane is arguably their best player, having averaged 18.2 points during the regular season. 

If the Warriors move on, they'll face either the Dallas Mavericks or Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.