Posted November 03, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley both scored 21 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies spoiled Golden State's home opener with a 104-94 victory Friday night after Warriors forward Brandon Rush injured his left knee in a scary fall.
Rudy Gay added 18 points and eight rebounds and Zach Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help Memphis rebound from a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers two nights earlier.
Randolph's foul on Rush in the first quarter unintentionally injured the Warriors forward, putting a damper on Golden State's first game at Oracle Arena this season. Rush held back tears and had to be helped off the court. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday.
The Warriors went down 14 points following the injury, then scored 15 straight to take a 39-38 lead before the Grizzlies ran away with the victory in the second half.
Stephen Curry scored 26 points and had seven assists and reserve Carl Landry added 20 points for Golden State on a night all the good vibes from Wednesday's win at Phoenix came crashing down. New center Andrew Bogut, easing back into game shape after left ankle surgery, had 4 points and three rebounds in 18 minutes.
Not exactly the way the Warriors wanted opening night to end.
A pregame video montage showed highlights from last season and mixed in shots of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. Players walked through a mock Bay Bridge complete with lights and fireballs popped after each name was called.
Owner Joe Lacob sat courtside cheering in one of the blue T-shirts every fan received. The Warriors also wore their blue road jerseys to support the theme.
All the party planning couldn't prevent what happened next.
Rush leaped in the air for a dunk when Randolph fouled him from behind with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Rush's left leg landed awkwardly, his knee bent badly and he tumbled to the floor.
Rush got up on one leg, waved his arms violently in the air and shook off teammates who tried to help as the announced sellout of 19,596 halted to a hush. He covered his face in agony and openly wept, eventually limping to the locker room with the support of teammate Jeremy Tyler and trainers.
Randolph put his arm around Rush at one point. The Grizzlies forward also appeared to go through the tunnel to check on Rush later in the half.
Memphis selected third-string center Andris Biedrins to shoot the free throws. The home fans booed Biedrins - the former starter - when he checked, just as they did during team introductions before the game, and he missed both free throws.
Rush signed an $8 million, two-year deal in July after coming over in a trade from Indiana last season. He had been Golden State's first player off the bench and a key cog late in games.
In the moments following the fall, the Warriors looked rattled.
Quincy Pondexter's dunk capped a 24-15 spurt after Rush's injury, moving Memphis ahead by 12 points early in the second quarter. Golden State rallied in a hurry, scoring 15 straight points to take a 39-38 lead and staying close until the Grizzlies regained a 12-point lead late in the third quarter and were never seriously challenged.
NOTES: Bogut is expected to sit out Saturday night at the Los Angeles Clippers. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he plans to rest Bogut to rest when the on the second half of back-to-back games early this season to ease the center - and his surgically repaired left ankle - back into game shape. Rookie Festus Ezeli will likely start. ... Randolph also unintentionally poked Ezeli in the eye during the first quarter. The rookie center returned after a few minutes. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast.
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