For the second time this season the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs needed extra time to decide the game. In the first meeting the Spurs defeated the Grizzlies at the AT& T Center in San Antonio 99-95 on December 1, 2012. In the game in Memphis tonight the Grizzlies blew a 6 point lead with 14 seconds left to win in overtime 101-98.
With the win the Grizzlies pulled closer to the division leading Spurs only behind 1 and a half games. The two teams play again in five days in San Antonio. The game was a very physical game and had a playoff feel to it.
The Grizzlies needed a very balanced attack to defeat the Spurs. Six Grizzlies players scored in double digits (Tony Allen 10, Darrell Arthur 14, Mike Conley 21, Rudy Gay 23, Marc Gasol 18, and Zach Randolph 18). Gay had an opportunity to put the game away in regulation, but he missed two free throws with 12.9 seconds left in the game.
The Spurs took advantage of the missed free throws when Stephen Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left to cut the lead to 1 point. Randolph was fouled. He hit both free throws to give the Grizzlies a three point lead (95-92) with 3.5 seconds left.
The speedy Tony Parker took the ball the length of the floor did not pick his dribble up until he reached half court and the clock did not begin until he touched the ball. Parker drove to the left side of the court and nailed a 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime.
In overtime the Spurs only made 1 of 10 shots. While Memphis made 3 of 7 shots. Parker was the high scorer with 30 points and 6 assists. Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter each finished with 13 points each. Parker and Conley battle one another all game. Parker on the three-pointer to tie the game said, “It was just a three-pointer and we go to overtime. It doesn’t mean anything. We worked hard tonight. We had an opportunity to win the game. It just didn’t go our way.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on the point guard matchup, “That’s a great matchup. They enjoy competing against each other, I think. They both have great hearts. They both are, obviously, super important for their teams. Again tonight, they were both big time support for each of their teams”
Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said, “It was a just a great win. This was definitely an example and I had told them when Tony Parker hit the three I said you have two ways to go, you can hold your head and feel sorry for yourself or you can suck it up and go back and win the game again.”
The Grizzlies improves to 24-10, while the Spurs fall to 28-11. The Spurs will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday January 13 at 6 pm central in San Antonio. The Grizzlies will have a short turnaround and travel to play the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday January 12 at 7 pm central time