Mike Conley returned just eight days after having facial surgery to score 22 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies used a smothering defensive effort to beat the Golden State Warriors 97-90 on Tuesday night, evening the Western Conference semifinals 1-1.
Wearing a clear mask to protect his swollen face and red left eye, Conley stole the spotlight from newly minted MVP Stephen Curry. He made his first four shots to get the Grizzlies going, and his teammates did the rest on defense.
Zach Randolph had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee scored 15 points each to help Memphis end Golden State's 21-game home winning streak. The Warriors dropped to 42-3 this season at rowdy Oracle Arena, losing for the first time at home in more than three months and for the first time this postseason.
When the Warriors started to rally in the closing minutes, Conley came through again. He made a three-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 90-80 lead with 2:11 left, silencing the sea of golden yellow shirts for good.
Conley added three assists in 27 minutes.
Curry collected 19 points, six assists and five rebounds but had little help from backcourt teammate Klay Thompson, who was smothered by Allen's aggressive play. The Warriors had 20 turnovers and shot just 41.9 percent, including 23.1 percent from three-point range. The Grizzlies had 13 steals.
Golden State had not lost at home since a 113-111 overtime defeat to Chicago on Jan. 27. The only other home loss came to San Antonio on Nov. 11.
Curry received the MVP trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during an on-court ceremony just before tipoff, and fans serenaded Curry with chants of "M-V-P!"
Once the game began, the other point guard drowned out those cheers.
Atlanta 106, Washington 90: DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points, Kyle Korver bounced back from a miserable first half and the top-seeded Hawks held off the Wizards, taking advantage of John Wall's absence to even the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
"We knew this was a game we had to win," Carroll said. "It was kind of a funky game."
Wall, who finished the series opener with an injured left hand, was a surprising scratch just before Game 2, shortly after the Wizards insisted he would play. Ramon Sessions did an admirable job filling in, leading his team with 21 points, but Washington lost for the first time in these playoffs.
"Just try to push the team, just like John does," Sessions said of trying play without Wall. "It wasn't just me. Everybody tried to step up."
Korver went 1-for-7 from the three-point line in the first half but kept firing away. He made three threes after the break, including one from the corner with just under three minutes remaining that gave the Hawks a 98-88 lead after Washington had hit consecutive jumpers.
"Man, I had some good looks in the first half," Korver said. "You've just got to stay with it. You can't stop shooting."