OAKLAND, Calif. >> Stephen Curry had 22 points and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors wore down the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies in a 101-86 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday.
Klay Thompson added 18 points and Draymond Green scored 16 to help the top-seeded Warriors roll to their 21st straight victory at raucous Oracle Arena. They led by nine at the half, 20 late in the third quarter and never let the Grizzlies build any momentum in the fourth.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Oakland.
Marc Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for a Memphis team missing point guard Mike Conley. He sat on the bench in a suit, his left eye still swollen, as he continues to recover from surgery to repair broken bones in his face.
It’s unclear when, or if, Conley will return in the series.
The Grizzlies can use all the help they can get now. Curry, the MVP favorite, got off to a slow start before joining the sweet-shooting performance Golden State put on in front of its home crowd.
The Warriors shot 50.6 percent, including 46.4 percent from 3-point range (13 of 28), to keep fans that formed a sea of golden yellow shirts roaring all afternoon. Memphis shot 45.2 percent but was just 3 of 12 (25 percent) from beyond the arc.
So much for any rust after the Warriors’ first-round sweep of New Orleans earned them an eight-day layoff.
Curry pushed the pace from start to finish, and the Grizzlies never could slow Golden State down. The Warriors went ahead by 16 in the second quarter and looked ready to rout the road team early.
That would have to wait.
The Grizzlies charged back behind their big physical frontcourt of Randolph and Gasol to slice the deficit to seven, but Curry came back with a couple of 3s to put the Warriors up 61-52 at the half.
Curry kept the pressure on from there. At one point in the third quarter, he crossed over Randolph, stepped back for a 3 and ran down court with his arms extended after the ball swished through to give Golden State an 80-60 lead.
The Grizzles missed a chance to surge back when Andrew Bogut and Green got in foul trouble, sending the defensive duo to the bench. But Memphis never could put together a big push against Curry and company, with Gasol and Randolph coming out in the last few minutes to rest up for Game 2.
Grizzlies: Memphis has lost three straight to the Warriors after winning the first matchup this season. … The Grizzlies are in the conference semifinals for the third time in five years.
Warriors: Golden State improved to 42-2 at home this season. … Team executive Jerry West gave general manager Bob Myers the NBA executive of the year award during an on-court presentation before the game.
Grizzlies guard Tony Allen became a target of boos every time he touched the ball after walking through a kids’ dance routine during a timeout in the second quarter. Allen shook hands with one of the youngsters afterward and laughed when he was shown on the video board.