OAKLAND – The Memphis Grizzlies came into Oracle Arena Tuesday night and succeeded where the last 21 visiting teams had failed.
They won, beating the Warriors 97-90 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals series. The series is now tied one game apiece as the action shifts to Memphis this weekend.
The Warriors were knocked down early, falling behind two minutes after tipoff and never quite catching up as the Grizzlies got a very apparent boost from the return of point guard Mike Conley.
Stephen Curry finished with 19 points to lead all Warriors scorers. Draymond Green and Leandro Barbosa each totaled 14, while Klay Thompson tossed in 13 and Harrison Barnes finished with 11.
The Warriors struggled against a Memphis defense that was twice as rugged and effective as it was in Game 1, shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from beyond the arc in losing at home for the first time since Jan. 27.
Moreover, though, the Warriors victimized themselves numerous times, committing 20 turnovers, off which Memphis scored 22 points.
Conley, who missed Game 1 and had not played since April 25 after sustaining a facial fracture resulting in surgery, made an immediate impact. Playing with a clear mask, he drained his first four shots and scored 9 points in the first quarter.
Conley also delivered a crucial bucket, hitting a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 90-80 lead with 2:11 to play. He finished with a game-high 22 points.
The bittersweet honors go to Andrew Bogut and Barbosa.
Bogut played solid defense and led all rebounders with 12 despite playing only 24 minutes.
Barbosa provided a sorely needed spark off the bench, with 5-of-9 shooting in 14 minutes of action.
Leading 41-39 with 1:31 left in the second quarter, Memphis went on a 9-0 to close the half with a 50-39 lead.
The Grizzlies then opened the second half with an 11-6 rally, going up 61-45 with 6:50 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors never got closer than seven (several times) after that.
Warriors: C Ognjen Kuzmic (sprained left ankle) was listed as inactive. F Brandon Rush was a healthy inactive.
Grizzlies: G Mike Conley (facial surgery) was listed as questionable but started and played 27 minutes.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday (5 p.m. PDT) at FedEx Forum in Memphis.