The Golden State Warriors proved that they are not immortal at home after losing Game 2 to the Memphis Grizzlies, despite holding a 41-2 record at Oracle Arena.
They lost, 97-90, as their three-point shooting was kept in check by the Grizzlies defense, which has continued to be the Grizzlies’ ace in the hole in the playoffs.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was held to 19 points as he shot 2-for-11 from the three-point line after being presented with his MVP award in front of Warriors fans.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson also struggled with 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting while making only 1-of-6 of his three-pointers.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies received a big spark in their offense as point guard Mike Conley returned to the court with a gutsy performance after suffering an eye injury in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Conley scored 22 points for the Grizzlies on 8-of-12 shooting while wearing a mask, and power forward Zach Randolph added 20 points with seven rebounds and four assists.
The Grizzlies now have home-court advantage as they will host the Warriors at FedExForum in Games 3 and 4.
It will not be easy for the Grizzlies to put together an encore performance though, as the Warriors offense has a knack for tiring out their opponents.
They have the pieces to shut down the Warriors though, such as shooting guard Tony Allen and center Marc Gasol.
Conley’s value to the team became even more apparent after his absence from Game 1 and his return to Game 2.
The Grizzlies have gone 4-0 in the playoffs with their point guard playing, and they have lost two of the three games that he has missed.
Conley also proved that he can be quite the defensive wiz as he was able to hold Curry to 19 points.
The Warriors have scored at least 100 points in four of their six playoff games, including a 101-point output in Game 1 against the Grizzlies.
Curry has averaged 29.3 points and 7.0 assists per game in the playoffs, but his scoring has fallen since the Warriors began their series against the Grizzlies.
The newly appointed MVP averaged 33.8 points per game in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans but has averaged just 20.5 against the Grizzlies.
Thompson has been relatively quiet against the Grizzlies as he has scored just 15.5 points a game while being defended by Allen.
He had averaged 25.0 points per game against the Pelicans, and his playoff average remains solid at 21.8 points a game.
Power forward Draymond Green is also looking to bounce back from a disappointing Game 2 performance as he scored 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting, but he made up for it at the free-throw line and with 12 rebounds.
The Warriors will need to score all the points they can against the Grizzlies, but their offensive stars can only improve from their Game 2 performances.
Expect Curry to put on a more MVP-like performance in Game 3, and the Warriors should bounce back with their three-pointers after making just 23.1 percent of their shots from downtown.
The Grizzlies will not make life easy for the Warriors, but the Warriors offense will heat up once again and pull away for a convincing road victory.