Published January 24, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. – Rudy Gay scored 23 points, three in the final 23 seconds, and the surging Memphis Grizzlies rallied from 20 points down in the second half to beat the Golden State Warriors 91-90 on Monday night.
Mike Conley had 20 points and nine assists for the Grizzles, who extended their winning streak to seven games with one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history.
Memphis trailed 63-43 with 3:23 left in the third quarter, then pulled within 16 heading into the fourth. The first-place Grizzlies scored 39 points over the final 12 minutes to remain a half-game ahead of San Antonio in the Southwest Division.
Marc Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds while Tony Allen had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies (10-6).
Monta Ellis had 20 points and five assists for Golden State, which was outscored 11-5 over the final 2:15.
The Grizzlies kicked off their four-game West Coast trip with a win despite getting outplayed for most of the night before breaking loose in the fourth quarter.
Allen had 10 points in the final period, Conley added nine and Marreesse Speights scored all eight of his points to help fuel the comeback.
Conley came up big on both ends of the court. He forced a pair of late turnovers, then scored the go-ahead basket on a driving layup after stealing a pass from Stephen Curry.
Gay, who finished 10 of 21 from the floor, then made a 17-foot fadeaway and later added an insurance free throw.
Golden State, which has dropped its last three, missed a flurry of 3-pointers in the waning moments but pulled within 89-87 on Brandon Rush's long jumper. After O.J. Mayo sank a pair of free throws for Memphis, Ellis made a 3 with 0.6 seconds left for the final margin.
Curry finished with 18 points in his second game back from an ankle injury. David Lee added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Rush scored 10 off the bench.
Golden State built a 17-point lead with just more than 4 minutes left in the first half before Memphis closed to 42-33 on a pair of free throws by Gay with 9.4 seconds left.
Gay and Gasol both had 12 points apiece before halftime but Curry, who missed nearly three weeks with that recurring ankle injury, raced down the court and scored on a layup to make it 44-33 at the break.
The Warriors got a big boost from their bench in the second quarter.
Backup guard Nate Robinson had six assists and Klay Thompson added seven points while Ekpe Udoh and Dominic McGuire combined for seven points as part of a 10-2 run.
Memphis, which played only one team with a record above .500 during its winning streak, looked tired playing its third game in four days.
The Grizzlies missed 10 of their first 13 shots, committed 11 turnovers in the first half and allowed the hustling Warriors to dish out 14 assists before intermission.
Ellis kept Golden State rolling with a pair of quick buckets in the third quarter. Curry added a 19-foot jumper and Lee scored on a dunk to give the Warriors a 55-39 advantage.
Rush, who had a 3-pointer during Golden State's run early in the second, added another dunk later to push the lead to 63-43.
Memphis pulled within 85-84 when Allen stole a pass from Curry and scored on a short jumper with 1:49 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies went ahead for good on Conley's layup.
Notes: Golden State's current six-game homestand is its longest of the shortened season. ... The home team had the won previous seven games in the series. ... The Warriors are 0-6 against teams from the Western Conference.