The Memphis Grizzlies just beat their two main contenders for the top spot in the Western conference on back to back nights. It took a triple overtime game in one filled with buzzer beaters from both sides to beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-116 in a night that looked like it wasn’t going to end.
The signs were on the wall from the ending in the fourth quarter. The Spurs were leading by three points with 7 seconds to go but Mike Conley hit a 3-pointer to tie it a 89-89. The Grizzlies didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate their tying shot before Danny Green put the Spurs up by three points with a 3-pointer of his own, giving them the 92-89 lead with 2.2 seconds left in the game.
Marc Gasol had something to say about that. He of all players got the ball on the inbound pass and almost in slow motion untangled himself from Manu Ginobili to hit one of the more awkward 3-pointers you’ve ever seen, sending the game into overtime at 92-92.
The heroics weren’t over for Marc Gasol. After Tim Duncan made a free throw to put the Spurs up by two points with 48 seconds left in the game, the Grizzlies squandered a possession with a bad Vince Carter shot, resulting in a Diaw rebound. Manu Ginobili had the ball but launched an inexplicable pass that got picked off by Courtney Lee, not to mention almost injured Danny Green who couldn’t take part of the defensive play.
Zach Randolph had a bad miss but Marc Gasol battled and won the offensive rebound, scoring the layup to once again tie the game, eventually sending it into a second overtime (102-102) after Manu Ginobili missed his attempt to beat the buzzer.
In the second overtime it was Courtney Lee with a wide open corner 3-pointer that put the Grizzlies in the lead with just over two seconds left to play after some great ball movement, capped off by a Vince Carter assist. The Spurs inbounded the ball to Tim Duncan who made an incredible off-the-backboard long two pointer with Marc Gasol’s hands in his face, sending the game into another overtime tied at 111-111.
In the third overtime there were no more buzzer beaters. Great defense allowed the Grizzlies to open a four point lead with less than a minute remaining. Another Danny Green 3-pointer made it a one-point game with 40 seconds left. The Grizzlies missed two shots in one possession, giving Manu Ginobili the chance to win the game with a desperate shot, but he was way off the mark, and the Grizzlies pulled off a bit win on the road against a team they haven’t had a lot of success against recently.
Marc Gasol scored 26 points for the Grizzlies, Zach Randolph added 21 and Vince Carter had 18 off the bench. The Spurs, playing without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were led by Danny Green with 25 points, Tim Duncan with 23 points and Manu Ginobili with 21. Green and Lee both played over 50 minutes in the game. Tim Duncan finished with 48 minutes on the floor, Randolph clocked 47 minutes.