Mike Conley’s return fueled the Memphis Grizzlies to stun the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal Series. Point-guard Conley returned after 8 days of undergoing a facial surgery to lead his side with 22 points Tuesday night. Memphis pulled off an 97-90 victory over the Warriors to tie the seven match series 1-1.
Wearing a clear mask to protect his left eye and wounded face, Conley outclassed recently crowned MVP Stephen Curry of the Warriors to snatch the game. His first four shots were on target, giving the Grizzlies the much-needed momentum to end the Warriors’ 21 game-winning streak at home.
“My eyesight was pretty good. I didn’t have too many times where I felt like my vision was impaired by looking too fast or the mask getting in the way,” Conley said after handing the Warriors their first post-season defeat.
“It does get hot. I had to open it up a few times and let the sweat come down and let the steam out a little bit.”
Zach Randolph scored 20 points and seven rebounds. Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee added 15 points each to the Memphis tally. The winners finished off the first half on a 9-0 run and led 50-39 at halftime. This is only the second time this season the Warriors were restricted below 40 points in the first half.
The Warriors bounced back in the final quarter and reduced the margin, but Conley once more swung the game in Grizzlies’ favor with a timely 3 pointer with 2:11 seconds left to give his side a 90-80 lead.
Curry led the Warriors with 19 points, 5 rebounds and six assists.
The series now travels to Memphis for Game 3 on Saturday.