The Warriors on Tuesday took their 16-game win streak into Delta Blues country, where it died a slow, mournful death on Beale Street.
That's where the Warriors ran into the mighty Memphis Grizzlies, who flexed their muscle and flashed their depth to send the Warriors to their first loss in five weeks, 105-98 at FedEx Forum.
In a game crackling with playoff intensity, the Warriors (21-3) weren't vanquished until Marc Gasol hit a pair of free throws with 15.4 seconds left.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr tried anything and everything he thought might work to keep alive the streak. Already shorthanded without Andrew Bogut and David Lee, Kerr shortened his playing rotation to a mere eight players. He went small, then smaller. He even griped his way into a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
Nothing worked, as the Grizzlies took the lead in the second half and hung on.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by 22 points from guard Klay Thompson. Stephen Curry finished with 19, Marreese Speights had 18, Shaun Livingston 12 and Harrison Barnes 11.
Gasol led Memphis with 24 points, while Zach Randolph added 17.
The offensive stars were Thompson and Curry, combining for 41 points, but Green's defensive effort was epic.
While Thompson shot 8-of-16, including 4-of-5 from 3-point distance, Curry had to work particularly hard, taking 25 shots but making only nine. Curry missed nine of his 10 3-point attempts.
Green, at 6-foot-7, spent most of night defending the brawny duo of Randolph and Gasol. Green scored only 4 points but finished with 10 rebounds, six assists and a career-high five blocked shots.
The Warriors entered the second quarter with a 30-24 lead before the Grizzlies reeled off a 20-0 run behind their second unit.
The Warriors spent the remainder of the game trying to catch up, coming as close as two (90-88, with 5:10 left) but failing to ever tie the game or regain the lead.
C Andrew Bogut (right knee chondromalacia/bone edema) and F David Lee (strained left hamstring) did not play and remain out indefinitely.
The Warriors travel back to the Bay Area, where on Thursday they face the Oklahoma City Thunder.