Post Up: Wild Wild West

by May 22, 2013

Spurs 93, Grizzlies 89 (Spurs lead series 2-0)

What an unbelievable game. The Spurs held a 78-64 lead early in the fourth before the Grizz roared back behind some lockdown defense. Memphis cut the deficit to seven with under a minute left, and a Zach Randolph three-point play got it to four. From there a strange sequence featuring a steal, a flagrant foul call on Manu Ginobili, two clutch Tony Allen free throws and finally a game-tying bucket by Mike Conley with 18 seconds left had the teams knotted at 85. Tim Duncan missed an impossible shot at the buzzer, sending the game into OT. In the extra period, a late missed three by Jerryd Bayless effectively ended the game.

Amazingly, each Spurs starter scored at least 11, and nobody topped 17. Tony Parker had 15 with a Playoff career-high 18 dimes, and Duncan, the team’s high-scorer, added 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. Manu scored only 7 points, and has just 15 through the series’ first two games.

Memphis’ leading scorers were Conley and Bayless, who scored 18 each, but it was Randolph and Marc Gasol’s work down low that kept them in the game. The duo combined for 32 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, which led to a 60-46 rebounding advantage. However, neither were great offensively—Randolph was 1/10 at half before picking things up and Gasol finished 4/12—and it cost Memphis. The Grizzlies shot just 34 percent overall. They attempted 14 more shots and 9 more free throws than the Spurs—a pretty huge advantage—but just couldn’t capitalize.

It was a long way to come back only to still fall for Memphis, but I don’t think it’s a back-breaker. The underdog doesn’t need to split the first two games, though it does add pressure on the team going back to Memphis.

The Grizzlies have been here before. In the first round, a Chris Paul buzzer-beater put Memphis down 2-0 in the series before they won the next four. In the second round, a late jumper by Kevin Durant won Game 1 for OKC, and Memphis still won the series in 5. We’ll see what Game 3 has in store on Saturday night.—Leo Sepkowitz