Last Standing: Memphis Grizzlies Beat Spurs in 3OT Shootout


Dec 17, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Vince Carter (15) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs power forward Tiago Splitter (22) during the second half at AT&T Center. The Grizzlies won 117-116 in triple overtimeMandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies used every bit of energy they had to knock off the San Antonio Spurs in triple-overtime for the 117-116 road win.

After losing to the Spurs in Memphis nearly two weeks ago, the Grizzlies took on the challenge of a rematch of the defending World Champions. Ever since the 2011 playoffs, San Antonio has had Memphis’ number.

After defeating the league’s top team on Tuesday night, the Grizzlies were faced with perhaps an even bigger challenge on Wednesday night. Boy, was it a challenge indeed!

After clutch shot after clutch shot by both teams, something had to give, and the Grizzlies finally pulled it out after three full extra periods of basketball. Memphis is now the proud owner of a 21-4 record.

This edition of your grinding Grizzlies can be found below.

First Half

Quincy Pondexter started the game at small forward in place of Tony Allen. This was a somewhat surprising move being as Tayshaun Prince and Vince Carter have both been playing ahead of Q-Pon–plus, Q did not play at all in last night’s contest against the Warriors.

To begin the game, the Grizz jumped out to a 6-0 lead and an eventual 10-5 lead over the Spurs. Tim Duncan picked up his second foul of the game by the 7:39 mark in the first quarter, but remained in the game.

Vince Carter had a huge performance last night and thankfully his hot hand continued into the first half tonight. Carter registered 10 points in the first period, including making all three of his shots from long-range.

The Grizzlies led 34-19 after one quarter of play, with seven different players having scored in the period.

Vince opened the second quarter with yet another three-point shot, making it his fourth trey of the night on 100% shooting. Courtney Lee got in on the action, too, as he followed up with a three-pointer of his own. The score grew to a 23-point Memphis lead. Yes, a 23-point lead over the San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio was able to chip away at the lead, making the scoreboard read 48-35 after one of two Manu Ginobili free-throw makes. With 1:00 remaining, a Ginobili dunk made it a 10-point game.

This led to there being Zach Randolph losing the tip off of a jump-ball situation, which resulted in a Ginobili three-point bucket that came with a Courtney Lee foul. This would cut the Grizzlies’ lead to seven at 52-45 at the half.

At halftime, Vince Carter led Memphis with 13 points and the Duncan/Ginobili duo posted 11 points each for the defending World Champs.

One factor helping the Grizz keep the lead was Tim Duncan shooting 3/9 from the free-throw line in the first half. The fast start and strong bench production is always welcomed from the Grizzlies.

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  • Second Half

    Three minutes into the third quarter, the Grizzlies increased their lead to 15–right back to where they were halfway through the first half of the game.

    Instead of firing up a lot of outside shots, the Grizz untilized their bigs. Marc Gasol got on a bit of a scoring stretch. Even Mike Conley and Quincy Pondexter got it going offensively, scoring multiple baskets from around the hoop.

    San Antonio responded with a three-pointer by Danny Green and then two more treys from Ginobili–cutting the ballgame to a Grizzly lead to eight. Boris Diaw got into the mix with yet another San Antonio three-point basket. It was a five-point Memphis lead.

    The game turned into a three-point-shooting affair. Vince Carter made his fifth triple of the night and Danny Green immediately replied with a triple of his own. A Kosta Koufos layup ended the third period.

    The Memphis Grizzlies led by five points to begin the fourth quarter at a score of 73-68. This set up yet another nail-biting final quarter for Grizz fans.

    It did not get any easier for Memphis. Thankfully Kosta Koufos came to play to keep the Grizzlies in the game. Memphis found themselves down 79-80 until Koufos scored his 15th and 16th points of the game, earning an 81-80 M-Town lead.

    Nick Calathes, whom has seen little playing time since being reinstated from his suspension, picked up his second and third fouls in less than six seconds apart from one another, but thankfully San Antonio did not score from these flubs.

    This led to the final stretch of the game.

    The Spurs kept an 83-85 lead for two minutes until Gasol tied the game at 85 with 1:34 remaining on the clock. Randolph later would split a pair of free-throws to take a one-point lead–advantage to the Grizz.

    Danny Green would go on to nail another three-point basket. A Gasol miss would lead to a Gasol foul on Tim Duncan. Duncan’s lackluster free-throw shooting would continue as he made only one of two free-throws. This gave the Spurs to their largest lead of the game–a three-point advantage. Three seemed to be the number of the night to summarize this matchup.

    Down three. Who do the Grizz go to now? Of course. Clutch Conley! Mike Conley nailed a three-point basket with seven seconds remaining.

    San Antonio responded with an even more clutch shot–Cory Joseph for three more points.

    This is Grizz Nation, so you know the game was not close to overtime. Marc Gasol, yes, Big Spain, made a huge shot to send the game into overtime! The craziness continued! Free basketball!


    Both the Grizz and Spurs would try to score through their bigs in the extra period. Tim Duncan’s free-throw woes would continue, which gave the Grizzlies a 98-95 edge halfway through overtime. Then of course, a Diaw three-pointer.

    A Conley hoop would then lead to the Spurs’ magic number of the night–a three, the Spurs’ 15th trey of the night up to this point.

    Duncan would split yet two more free-throws, but Vince Carter missed a long-range shot. Diaw would corral the rebound, but Duncan would later turn it over. Marc Gasol would take full advantage of this opportunity, tying the game at 102 with nine seconds left.

    Manu Ginobili missed San Antonio’s final shot, sending the game into–you guessed it–a SECOND overtime!

    Second Overtime

    At this point, Courtney Lee and Danny Green were the only two players that had logged over 40 minutes in the game. Thankfully for the Grizzlies, they do not play again until Friday night.

    Marc Gasol would give the Grizzlies a four-point lead off of Conley’s 10th assist. This would lead to the two teams trading baskets–both trying to grab ahold of the momentum.

    After a Z-Bo make, Diaw made yet another three-pointer. Spurs led by one at 108-109.

    Looking like the Grizzlies have ran out of steam, Courtney Lee managed to make a three-point basket to take a 111-109 lead!

    San Antonio would take a timeout. The inbounds pass went to Duncan, where he would hit an unbelievable banked jumpshot from the top of the key while under pressure. Amazing. Depressing. Another five minutes coming up!

    Third Overtime

    Back-and-forth play would continue. Zach Randolph would give the Grizzlies a two-point lead at the 2:35 mark. By this point, Courtney Lee had logged 50 minutes and three other Grizzlies had registered over 40. For the Spurs, Danny Green had played 50 while just two other Spurs had played over 40 minutes.

    Randolph would keep it rolling. He added two more, but Danny Green hit–you guessed correctly–another three-pointer. Ugh! 20 seconds left.

    The Grizzlies had seen enough. The Spurs would try their hardest to score once more after they regained possession, but the ball would not go through the hoop for them anymore on this night. Thankfully!

    The Memphis Grizzlies pull out another massive victory by the score of 117-116 in triple-overtime.

    The box score, produced by ESPN, can be found here.

    Key Game Notes

    • Memphis’ Tony Allen did not play due to an injury to his eye that happened late Tuesday’s night game versus Golden State.
    • The Spurs’ Tony Parker did not play tonight.
    • Vince Carter had highest-scoring game of the season with 18 points, two more than he totaled on Tuesday night.
    • This contest was the first triple-overtime game of the season for the Grizzlies.
    • Both teams had one player each log over 50 minutes, Courtney Lee (53) and Danny Green (52).
    • Four Grizzlies and three Spurs totaled more than 40 minutes each.
    • The Grizzlies made 10 threes (37%) while San Antonio made 17 threes (48.6%).
    • Memphis accumulated only 12 turnovers.
    • Zach Randolph earned his 16th double-double of the season.

    Fantasy Watch: Grizzlies Edition

    •  Zach Randolph: 21 points, 21 rebounds, two steals
    • Marc Gasol: 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks, four turnovers
    • Mike Conley: 14 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, three turnovers
    • Vince Carter: 18 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals
    • Kosta Koufos: 16 points, seven rebounds, two blocks
    • Courtney Lee: 14 points, four assists

    Next Game

    The Grizzlies’ next game is a matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Friday–the first meeting of the season between the two teams, featuring the battle of the Gasol brothers. Memphis will put their 21-4 record on the line in Memphis.

    Go Grizz!