Offense goes missing as Warriors drop Game 2 

OAKLAND — "Adjustments are not overhauls," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. "It's not rocket science."

Indeed, the Memphis Grizzlies got the best type of adjustment Tuesday in the return of starting point guard Mike Conley. In the end, Memphis looked like a different team, racing to a 97-90 win. The best-of-seven series will head to Memphis in a 1-1 deadlock for Game 3 on Saturday.

"I feel like I played 50 minutes tonight," said Conley, who scored a game-high 22 points after missing the last three games due to broken bones in his face. "I felt like a liability there defensively for a second, but my teammates really picked me up."

Zach Randolph scored 20 points and had a team-high seven rebounds and four assists. Courtney Lee and Marc Gasol each chipped in 15 points.

After Conley hit a leaning 3-pointer with 2:11 left for a 90-80 lead, the Warriors never threatened.

The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry's 19 points, with Klay Thompson pitching in 13.

It was a tough night overall for the Splash Brothers, who combined to shoot 13-of-34 (3-of-17 from 3-point range). Neither got to the foul line until late in the third quarter, all coming on a night when the Warriors combined to shoot 6-of-26 on 3-pointers collectively. They also had 20 turnovers.

"I thought we lost our poise tonight," Kerr said. "It takes an eternity to win an NBA game, and in the middle of second quarter, it felt like desperation mode. We were too emotional, too quick with our intention to score."

At the opening tip, the ball fell immediately into the hands of Conley — and the 6-foot-1 playoff veteran knew what to do with it.

Conley opened the game with nine points on 4-of-4 shooting in the game's opening five minutes, outscoring the Warriors 9-8 in that stretch, and the Grizzlies looked every bit the highly physical, battle-tested force in their fifth straight postseason appearance, handing the Warriors their first loss of the playoffs (and first home loss since Jan. 27).

It was a forgettable 39-point first half for the Warriors offensively. They shot 37 percent from the floor on 14-of-38 shooting with more turnovers (10) than assists (nine).

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand in Oakland, passing along the 2014-15 MVP trophy to Curry, who reminded the crowd they "still had more work to do."

Draymond Green picked up two fouls in the game's opening three minutes. He also had a technical foul for complaining, one of several controversial calls by referee Scott Foster.

Perhaps no first-half stretch was more important than the final 1:24. After Green's thunderous layup over Randolph cut the Memphis lead to 41-39, coach Dave Joerger called timeout, Draymond Green took to the bench and the Grizzlies reeled off nine unanswered to suddenly take their first double-digit edge 50-39.

And from that stretch onward, the Warriors were never able to fully claw themselves back within striking distance.

"It's obviously been a dream season, things have fallen into place over and over again, and it's not always going to work that way," Kerr said. "They kicked our butts, and we have to learn from this."

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Jack Ross

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