Thank the high heavens for the Buffalo Wild Wings Button. For about six and a half quarters, the 2013 Western Conference finals was as exciting as the CSPAN channel.
San Antonio jumped out to an early lead, culminating in a 46-31 lead at halftime. Then, the third quarter happened and the Grizzlies found their offensive stroke scoring 33 in the period. Chipping away the entire fourth quarter (Memphis out scored the Spurs 21-9), the fireworks arrived towards the end of regulation.
Tony Allen should at least be up for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama at next year’s Academy Awards for his acting job following a Manu Ginobli take down. Writhing on the hardwood in pain holding his head, replays showed Allen’s noggin never touched the floor. He milked the situation perfectly for a Flagrant 2 helping his team get within two points plus retain possession after knocking down two huge free throws (karma must’ve been stuck in traffic).
From there, a Mike Conley basket tied the score at 85 forcing OT. It was here in the the fifth quarter where San Antonio kept the Grizz at arms length eventually pulling away for a 93-89 victory.
Neither team shot particularly well. The Crafty Frenchman, Tony Parker, struggled with his shot all night (6-20), but commanded the flow of the offense with 18 assists to go along with 15 points. Meanwhile, Zach Randolph avoided a second consecutive “Where did Joel Anthony find a Zach Randolph costume?” game. Playing all but three minutes, Zach posted 15 points and 18 rebounds, but was forced to take 18 shots to do so. Plus, he led the team in turnovers with four. Randolph must find ways to be more efficient on the offensive end with the series heading back to Memphis.
Fret not Grizz fans for there is some precedence here. Zach posted two lackluster games in Los Angeles earlier this postseason only to redeem himself upon returning to his home basket and Memphis’ world famous BBQ. The Grizzlies aren’t out of the series yet. But Game 3 suddenly becomes the biggest game of the season. Win and we’ve got a series again. Lose and we’re one step closer to T-Mac in the Finals.
And now, to the elephant in the room. No way history repeats itself two years in a row for the Spurs up 2-0 in the West Finals. Right?