Published May 03, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies handed the top-seeded Golden State Warriors their first loss of the postseason and will try for a 2-1 series lead Saturday night when Game 3 takes place at the FedExForum.
The Grizzlies became just the third team this season to defeat the Warriors at Oracle Arena Tuesday night thanks to a 97-90 victory in Game 2. Golden State hadn't lost at home since Jan. 27 against the Chicago Bulls.
"It's the playoffs. When you get outplayed by a really good team you're going to lose when you're on the road or at home," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "They deserved to win. They kicked our butts."
The hero for Memphis was point guard Mike Conley. He returned from a three- game absence to score 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting in 27 minutes Tuesday night.
Conley had not played since an inadvertent elbow broke several bones around his left eye during the Grizzlies' first-round series against Portland. Donning a protective mask, Conley also did the job defensively, helping to limit NBA MVP Stephen Curry to 19 points and Klay Thompson to 13.
"Mike Conley has a tremendous heart," Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger said. "He gave us an extra element."
Zach Randolph totaled 20 points and seven rebounds, while Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee added 15 points apiece in handing the Warriors their first loss of the postseason.
Golden State turned it over 20 times and shot just 23.1 percent (6-for-26) from long range.
Conley showed no rust eight days removed from surgery. He scored nine points in the first 4:37 and had the Grizzlies up by as many as 11 in the first quarter.
There was a brief scare midway through the second when Draymond Green hit Conley on his protective mask trying to force a jump ball. After staying on the floor for a moment, Conley made his way to the bench and stayed in.
The Warriors' struggles were summed up by Thompson missing an uncontested dunk late in the half and Lee draining a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
A 9-0 run over the final 1:15 -- highlighted by a Tony Allen three-point play -- sent the Grizzlies into the break with a 50-39 lead.
It was just the second time all season the Warriors failed to score 40 points in the first half. They shot 36.8 percent from the floor, did not record any second-chance points and were outscored 28-14 in the paint.
Green got the crowd back into it with a coast-to-coast layup late in the third, but he and Curry missed 3-point tries the next two times down. Lee's jumper off an offensive rebound just before the buzzer gave Memphis a 73-63 advantage.
The closest the Warriors got in the fourth was seven. After they pulled within 83-76 midway through the frame, Conley banked in a runner and Allen picked off a lazy Curry pass and went in for an easy dunk to quiet the crowd.
Game 4 will be Monday night.
The Warriors beat the Grizz in Memphis on March 27, but have lost 10 of their last 12 trips to Beale Street.