PORTLAND, Ore. - Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley was hospitalized Saturday night with a head injury he sustained during the Grizzlies' 115-109 playoff victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Conley left Saturday's game with 3:04 left in the third quarter after he was inadvertently hit in the head by an elbow from Portland guard C.J. McCollum. Conley absorbed the blow in the area between his cheekbone and eye. The blow knocked Conley to the floor, where he remained motionless for several seconds as play continued at the opposite end of the court.
Play was stopped moments later and several of the Grizzlies' players, coaches and trainers rushed to Conley's side. Conley was helped onto his feet and walked off the court and to the locker room with a towel covering his face. He was taken to a medical facility for further evaluations, team officials said.
"He was a little dizzy, but he was OK," said Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who was one of the first players over to check on Conley after he fell to the floor. "He got up and talked and walked back to the locker room. That's all I know. That was the last time I saw him. I hope he will be OK."
Memphis coach Dave Joerger said he didn't have an update on Conley's status immediately after the game. He also said he didn't have a clear view of the play when Conley was hit, but that he then complained to game officials that there should have been a foul called on the play.
The Grizzlies were ahead by 10 points when Conley left the game and held off a late Portland rally to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Conley took to Twitter after the game to congratulate his teammates:
Memphis faces the possibility of being without Conley when it attempts to close out the series in Game 4 on Monday.
Head injuries typically mandate that players go through the testing for concussion symptoms, which could require Conley to pass a series of evaluations before he is cleared to resume basketball activities. A Memphis team official said there could be an update on Conley's status on Sunday.
Earlier this season, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook was taken to a Portland-area medical facility after he suffered a facial fracture in the final seconds of a loss to the Blazers. The Grizzlies were already without backup point guard Beno Udrih, who sat out with a sprained ankle he suffered in Game 2.
"To come in here and here and get a win in this kind of environment is a big win for our guys," Joerger said. "For Mike to go down in the course of the game -- I don't know what his status is at this point, and same thing for Beno. We'll see if he can go Monday or not."
Conley, who had already been playing through a foot injury, finished with 14 points, four assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes before leaving the game. He guided Memphis to one of its best starts to a playoff game in team history as the team set a franchise scoring record for a half when it led 62-49.
If Conley and Udrih are unable to play Monday, the Grizzlies will be down to third-string point guard Nick Calathes, who had 13 points and four assists in 26 minutes Saturday against the Blazers. Both Calathes and Udrih saw their roles expand when Conley missed the final four games of the regular season with a sprained right foot.
Conley's health is again looming over the team in the postseason.
"When I saw him fall, I was like, 'Come on man. Get up and get back [on defense],'" Memphis guard Tony Allen said. "I don't know what the prognosis is, but I'm praying he's OK. Obviously, he's a big piece to what we've got going. But today was a day when everybody was all-in, and when a player goes down, somebody's on the bench and it's their time to step up."