Spurs hold off Memphis Grizzlies in overtime

AFP, SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Thu, May 23, 2013 - Page 20

The San Antonio Spurs held off the late-charging Memphis Grizzlies to triumph 93-89 in overtime on Tuesday and stretch their lead in the NBA Western Conference finals to 2-0.

Tim Duncan’s 17 points included six of the Spurs’ eight points in overtime, when he also delivered a key block to help San Antonio hang on after they let a 13-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate.

“I hate that we gave up that big of a lead in that situation,” Duncan said. “But we were resilient enough to go to overtime and not let it affect us and get a win there.”

Tony Parker scored 15 points and handed out a career playoff high 18 assists for the Spurs.

“He was unbelievable,” Duncan said of Parker. “I know he’s exhausted. We asked a lot of him. He was controlling the ball every time down the floor. And he was making every right play there was.”

Parker’s last assist was to Duncan for the basket that gave the Spurs a 91-87 lead.

The Grizzlies’ Jerryd Bayless responded with a jump shot to trim the deficit back to two points.

Parker then made one of two free throws to give the Spurs a 92-89 lead with 14.6 seconds left in overtime, but Bayless was off-target with a three-point attempt to tie it.

The Spurs, who thumped the Grizzlies 105-83 in Game 1 on Sunday, will try to extend their dominance as the series shifts to Memphis for Game 3 and Game 4 on Saturday and Monday.

“We’re down 0-2,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “We’ve got to go home and take care of business at home.”

The winner of the series will advance to the NBA finals and battle the Eastern Conference champions for the league crown.

Reigning NBA champs Miami were to host Indiana in the opening game of the Eastern Conference finals yesterday.

Memphis again struggled offensively, connecting on just 34 percent of their shots from the field.

However, the Grizzlies displayed their dominant defense late in regulation, producing a 15-2 scoring run that forced overtime.

Mike Conley and Bayless scored 18 points apiece. Conley’s jump shot with 18.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter knotted the contest at 85-85 and forced overtime.

Zach Randolph shook off a sluggish start to score 15 points and pulled down 18 rebounds for Memphis.

Trailing by 13 with less than eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies slowly turned the tide.

Quincy Pondexter’s dunk trimmed the deficit to eight, 83-75, with 5:39 remaining in regulation.

Pondexter followed up with a three-pointer that pulled Memphis within 83-78.

Tiago Splitter’s dunk with 4:18 to play stretched San Antonio’s lead back to 85-78.

However, Zach Randolph was fouled going in for a layup and made the free throw for the three-point play that made it 85-81 with 52 seconds left in the fourth.

Manu Ginobili was then called for a flagrant foul on Tony Allen as Allen went up for a layup. Allen made both free throws to make it a two-point game with 26 seconds left, setting the stage for Conley to tie it.

Duncan missed a long turnaround jumper at the end of regulation, but came through when he had to in the extra session.