Memphis Grizzlies Beat San Antonio Spurs 117-116 In Triple Overtime Classic

The Memphis Grizzlies led the short-handed San Antonio Spurs by 23 points in the second quarter and 17 points in the third. But Gregg Popovich’s team doesn’t feel sorry for itself, and certainly doesn’t play the scoreboard. Thank god – we’d have been robbed of an all-time classic if it did. In a game containing multiple game-tying buzzer-beaters and much more clutch shot-making, the Grizzlies beat the Spurs 117-116 after three wildly entertaining overtimes.

San Antonio’s bench got its team back into the game with a big run at the end of the third quarter, cutting Memphis’ lead to five. The Spurs played suffocating defense from there, holding the Grizzlies to just 13 points in the first 11:50 of the fourth quarter to take an 89-86 lead. But this Memphis squad doesn’t live and die at the rim; it shoots from deep, too.

Mike Conley hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 89-89 with seven seconds left, and it appeared we were headed for overtime. But regulation was a far way from being over. After the scorching hot Danny Green’s corner long-ball put San Antonio up three, Marc Gasol – burgeoning his MVP candidacy – did this on the final possession of regulation:


Conley and Green traded jumpers in the final 90 seconds of the first overtime, too, leaving the Spurs up one with under a minute remaining. After Tim Duncan continued his game-long struggles at the line by making one of two, Gasol grabbed a Zach Randolph miss and laid it in to tie the game with nine seconds left. The fist extra period came and went with no buzzer-beaters. Ho-hum.

Following a back-and-forth several minutes in the second OT, Courtney Lee did his best Green impression by hitting a trey to put Memphis up two with 2.6 seconds left on the clock. Duncan matched Gasol’s heroics from there:


It was much less exciting thereafter – if triple overtime hoops between two of the league’s best teams could even be considered so. Randolph scored all six of the Grizzlies’ points in the third extra session as both teams were nearly out of gas. Green gave the Spurs a chance with his seventh three of the game to cut Memphis’ lead to one as the clock ticked to 40 seconds, but Manu Ginobili’s desperation long-ball 35 seconds later was off the mark.

Gasol had 26 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, while Randolph beasted all night long en route to 21 points and 21 boards. Green scored all 25 of his points after halftime, picking up the slack of the absent Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. Duncan went for 23 points and 16 rebounds but struggled to shoot and finish from the opening tip, and Ginobili managed 21 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists despite late-game shooting struggles of his own.

Wins on consecutive nights against the West’s best team and the reigning champions? Not bad for the Grit ‘N Grind crew.

And wow, what a game.

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