The first 40 minutes and 25 seconds of tonight’s game might as well have been a replay of Game 1.
Then with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, Tim Duncan committed his fifth foul of the game.
13 seconds later, the Spurs committed their fifth team foul, leaving the Memphis Grizzlies in the bonus for the final 7:22 of the game.
What was an 18-point lead for the San Antonio Spurs had completely vanished. The Grizzlies finally found a lineup to score and shut down the Spurs, as they went on a 15-2 run to close out the quarter and send it to overtime.
And then Tim Duncan happened.
Tonight was a tale of two halves. The first half had the Spurs achieving utter dominance once again. The second half featured a third quarter in which they Spurs had to play keep up, letting Memphis score 33 points in the quarter, after only scoring 31 in the entire first half. Then the Grizzlies finally found their groove and held San Antonio to nine points on 21% shooting for the fourth quarter.
But the rest Tim Duncan received from foul trouble, proved to be vital in overtime, as the 37-year-old Duncan outscored the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime by himself (6 to 4).
Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio with 15 points and 18 assists, while Tim Duncan added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Leading the Grizzlies tonight was Zach Randolph, who still managed 15 points and 18 rebounds, after another poor shooting night. Assisting Z-Bo was his frontcourt teammate and Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol, who added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies.
So here we are again. After dominating two games, the Spurs are now two more wins away from their fifth NBA Finals appearance in the Tim Duncan era. The Spurs have three days off before they have to see the floor again. And after playing their third overtime game of these playoffs, you know they need it.
Two to advance. Six to the ultimate goal. Go Spurs Go.
- A lot of Spurs fans were quick to blame the officiating tonight. The fact is, the officiating was fairly consistent on both ends. And by consistent, I mean atrocious for all parties involved. Granted the final numbers don’t show that, as the Grizzlies shot 9 more free throws than the Spurs. But Memphis shot 10 more free throws than the Spurs in the third quarter, and San Antonio still managed to lead by 12.
- San Antonio did a good job of scoring around the basket tonight, with 40 points in the paint. And it was needed, as the Spurs only shot 36% from beyond the arch for the game. We told you the shooting wouldn’t last. But Memphis was still held to 34% shooting tonight, so good on the defense for their performance.
- The Spurs continue to prove that sharing the ball is key. After 28 assists on 40 field goals in Game 1, the Spurs decided to share the ball more efficiently with 29 assists on 36 field goals in Game 2.
- We mentioned before the series that Memphis does a great job of getting offensive rebounds and second chance points. Well, the Grizzlies did their job in crashing the offensive glass (19 rebounds) but only managed eight second chance points (2/16). If the Spurs can keep, then any rebounding advantage Memphis has is moot.
Some great stats that will help maintain your confidence about the Spurs heading into Game 3:
- San Antonio is 5-1 on 3+ days of rest this season, via Matthew Tynan and Dan McCarney.
- San Antonio is also 19-2 in winning series after being up 2-0. The two series losses were in 2004 versus the Lakers, and of course last year versus the Oklahoma City Thunder. (via Dan McCarney)
- Lastly, this stat doesn’t pertain to tonight’s game, but it’s good for future reference. Also via Matthew Tynan, the Spurs are 40-8 when Tony Parker scores 20+ points on the season.
Tweet of the Night
Our friends at Pounding the Rock really love Tony Parker. Or Tony Parker loved on them. Hard. Either way.
TONY JUST PUT A BABY IN MY BELLY THROUGH THE TV AND ALSO I AM A MAN.
— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) May 22, 2013