The 23-10 Memphis Grizzlies came into their home game Friday night 2.5 games behind the 28-10 San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies had won 3 straight games. Both the Grizzlies and Spurs have two of the best records in the Western Conference. They showed it in a hard fought game Friday night in Memphis.
In the first quarter, Memphis jumped out to an early 11-7 lead. The Spurs would go on a 13-4 run to go up 20-15 with 2:23 left. The Grizzlies would tie it up at 22 with 32 seconds left in the quarter. The Spurs would regain the lead on a Manu Ginobli 3 pointer with 8 seconds left to make 25-22. That would remain the score at the end of the first.
The second quarter was back and fourth with neither team leading by more than 3 points. Spurs’ forward Tiago Splitter tied it up at 43 with 1:55 left in the second. Over the last 1:15 of the half Memphis went on an 8-0 run to take a 51-43 lead going into the locker room.
Memphis would expand their lead to 60-48 on an 8 foot shot from Center Marc Gasol with 8:22 left in the third. Gasol was probable with an injured finger before the game. The Spurs then went on a 13-2 run to pull within 62-61 with 4:15 left. The Spurs would take a 71-66 lead with 1:07 left. Memphis point guard Mike Conley would make 2 free throws with 52 seconds left neither team would score again in the rest of the quarter to make it 71-68 Spurs.
The Spurs would expand their lead to 79-72 with 8:29 left in the fourth on a Tony Parker layup. Memphis went on a 7-0 run to tie it up at 79 on a Darrell Arthur 13 foot jumper with 5:28 to go. The Spurs would take 4 points leads at 85-81 and 87-83 with 3:01 left. The Grizzlies went on a 10-2 run to take a 93-89 lead with 19 seconds to go. Stephen Jackson then made a 3 pointer with 4 seconds left for the Spurs to pull them within 93-92. Zach Randolph hit two free throws for the Grizzlies to make it 95-92 with 3 seconds left. Instead of fouling, the Grizzlies let Parker shoot a 3 pointer. He made it to send it into overtime tied at 95.
In overtime, Parker made a 3 pointer with 3:35 left to make it 98-95. The Spurs would not score again in overtime. Randolph made it 98-97 Spurs with 3:13 left. With 44 seconds left, Ginobli had a lay-up blocked by Rudy Gay that was originally called goaltending. However, replays showed the block was clean, and the call was reversed. Gay hit a 14 footer with 27 seconds left to give Memphis the lead for good 99-98. Parker missed a 14 foot shot with 13 seconds left. Arthur made a lay-up with 8 seconds left to make it 101-98. Ginobli missed a long three pointer at the buzzer and that was the final.
Memphis improved to 24-10 and snapped a 5 game losing streak to the Spurs. Before tonight, Memphis hadn’t beaten San Antonio since the 2011 playoffs when the #8 seeded Grizzlies upset the #1 seeded Spurs in the Western Conference quarterfinals. San Antonio dropped to 28-11. Nine of their eleven losses this season have come on the road. The Spurs now lead the Grizzlies by a game and a half in the Southwest Division. This is the second time these two teams have gone into overtime this season, as the Spurs won 99-95 in San Antonio last month. They will meet again in San Antonio on Wednesday night.
San Antonio shot 46.1% from the field including 10/25 from 3 point range. The Spurs made 18 of 22 free throws. San Antonio had 35 rebounds, 25 assists, 9 steals, 4 blocks and 18 turnovers. The Spurs scored 16 fast break points and 40 points in the paint.
Parker had 30 points, 5 assists, and a rebound. Ginobli had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal. Tim Duncan had 13 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. Splitter had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. Guard Danny Green had 9 points, but no other Spur scored more than 7 points.
Memphis shot 47.1% from the field including 3 for 12 from 3 point range. The Grizzlies made 18 of 21 free throws. Memphis had 35 rebounds, 19 assists, 10 steals, 4 blocks, and 14 turnovers. The Grizzlies scored 19 fast break points, and had 50 points in the paint.
Gay had 23 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and a block. Conley had 21 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Randolph had 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Arthur had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals off the bench. Gasol had 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, and a steal. Guard Tony Allen had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
This was a hard fought win for the Grizzlies. Parker tying it up at the end of regulation might have been disheartening to the Grizzlies, but they didn’t quit. The Grizzlies closed over on a 6-0 run to secure the victory. Next up for Memphis is a road game at the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow night.