Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 8:00 am  |  17 responses

Post Up: Same Old, Same Old

The veteran Spurs earn a third straight victory vs Memphis to take a 3-0 series lead.

San Antonio 104, Memphis 93 (Spurs lead series 3-0)

Memphis gave away the biggest game of their season last night. The Grizz led 29-11 late in the first quarter, but the lead was cut to 44-40 at halftime. They stayed ahead throughout the third period, but a Danny Green triple on the first play of the fourth quarter put San Antonio in the lead.

The teams were neck-and-neck from there, and were knotted at 86 with 33 seconds left. Manu Ginobili missed a great look at a three, which gave Memphis the ball with the shot clock turned off. But the Spurs clamped down on D, and sent the game into overtime.

It was really all Spurs in OT. With San Antonio leading by six with 1:39 left, Marc Gasol missed a jumper that he makes 99 times out of 100, which took the air out of the building and effectively ended the game.

Tim Duncan led the charge for the Spurs and finished with 24 points (11-19), 10 boards, 5 assists and 2 blocks. He was strong throughout and, despite logging 40 minutes in regulation, scored 7 points in overtime. Tony Parker scored a team-high 26.

Ginobili dropped 19 off the bench with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. He shot 5-of-9 and got to the line 8 times in 30 minutes. That’s essentially a perfect Ginobili game for the Spurs, minus the missed three late in the game. They’re best when he doesn’t need to be a volume shooter, and can instead get other guys involved while still being aggressive.

Tiago Splitter shot 5-for-5 and finished with 11 and 6 and Kawhi Leonard grabbed 11 rebounds.

Mike Conley continued to play at a high level for Memphis, and finished with 20 points, 4 assists and 5 steals. He took an uncharacteristically high amount of shots (21), but Memphis needed his offense. He’s been one of the two or three biggest breakout stars of the Playoffs (Curry, George—Hibbert’s not too far off).

Gasol scored 16 with 14 rebounds and 5 assists and Zach Randolph also double-doubled with 14 and 15. Gasol has played pretty well in this series but has semi-disappointed. I thought he’d really step up after a tremendous series against the Thunder, but he’s struggled offensively. In three Conference Finals games, he’s shooting 18-for-46 (39 percent). Same goes for Z-Bo, who has battled down low all series but will carry a 30 percent three-game shooting clip (12-for-40) into a must-win Game 4.

Quincy Pondexter was sweet off the bench with 15 (3 treys), but fouled out with about a minute left, forcing an injured Tayshaun Prince back onto the floor. This was something of a game-changer. On the last play of regulation, Conley decided against kicking out to Prince in the corner for a potential game-winning three-point attempt, opting instead to take a difficult shot. Perhaps he would have had more faith in Pondexter. Tony Allen scored 12 with 7 rebounds, but missed two crucial free throws in the last couple of regulation minutes.

The Grizz are in deep, deep trouble, but it ain’t over. With a Game 4 win, they can go into Game 5 knowing that a potential Game 6 would be back in Memphis. From there, of course, anything can happen in Game 7…

Plus, the longer the series drags on, the more the aging Spurs may wear down. It’s all precisely 142,241,020 times easier said than done, but the Grizzlies won four straight in each of the first two rounds. They’ll need to do it a third time, and the journey will begin on Monday night.—Leo Sepkowitz

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  • playa

    For some reason (maybe im just being sentimental) i f##king love seeing Timmy&the crew in the finals.The one last dance, hope they make it a memborable one.

  • The Fury

    They will, and hopefully they win it all to silence every non-believers out there.

  • Judah1012

    Have to love watching the Spurs. If Tim Duncan wins his 5th ring and keeps playing like this, I’d put him ahead of Kobe as the best player since Jordan. Definitely the best winner since Jordan. 4 as the best player on his team (even though Parker won the last Finals MVP) and 1 still being a key component on the team. Tony Parker will walk into the Hall of Fame with maybe 2 Finals MVPs and 4 championships and still be underrated because no one wants to talk about how great he is.

  • Judah1012

    If T-Mac walks away with a championship this season, I’d enjoy seeing it. Even though he’s not playing. Would be like the basketball gods paying him back for having to carry that Magic squad by himself for too long.

  • Max

    I don’t like how Lionel Hollins never talked about winning the chip.

  • Caboose

    Marc Gasol has looked nothing like a DPOY this series.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He played 47 minutes and was a -2. It’s not like he was the issue.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Every real basketball lover should DEEPLY respect the Spurs for what they’ve accomplished over an entire generation of basketball, what for many of us is the generation we grew up on. They are the epitome of sustained excellence. Pop, Timmy, Tony, Manu and co. are legends.

  • playa

    I know man, i become a fan of them after loooong years of dispproval

  • Max

    lol remember everyone calling them a regular season team.
    Even after they went to the WCF last year and will probably (i hope not) do so again this year!

  • The Fury

    That’s what upsets me the most when people call them a “regular season” team. I mean there’s only ONE champion during the season, so the rest of the teams (15) in the playoffs are “regular season” teams then??

  • RedRum

    Spurs could have 2-3 rings more.First when they lost the WCF to LA with the Fisher 0.4 shot. Remember that the play before TD had one of the most amazing clutch shots, fadeawt over Shaq from the free throw. The second was the 2006 loss to Dallas, with the stupid Ginobili foul, giving the game away. Third possibly last year, if they went to the Finals I believe they would have beat the Heat. Not sure what happened last year, Pops said that it was his fault, did not make the adjustments needed. But lets forget last year. The most obvious one was the 2004 with the .4 shot. Duncan did all he could. Now… say TD has another 2 rings, plus they might win one this year. Tell me that TD is not the best player in the league since MJ. Tell me that he is not the best two way player the game has ever seen since MJ.

  • Max

    Haha yeah, and then you think about them winning 4 times in the last 15 years..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Tim Duncan should already be ahead of Kobe Bryant

  • playa

    Not really, that’s umm you know like your opinion dude.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol and that is yours

  • RedRum

    I have to be honest here. I am a great fan of Duncan’s. I truly believe that he is the best player the game has seen since MJ. I personally rate him higher than Magic and Bird. If I had to start a franchise, I would pick MJ first, Timmy second. Duncan had some great playoff performances, historical even. But… Wilt aside (not in Finals), I don’t think there has been a more dominant player in the NBA than Shaq during his LA three-peat years. It is such a shame that so much talent and potential ended up with someone like Shaq. Imaging someone with Shaq’s skill and body and Duncans mindset. GOAT, end of. But still, knowing how their careers played out, I still take Duncan, easily.