Down by as many as 23 points in the game, the San Antonio Spurs were able to create a huge surge that last through the end of the third quarter to the fourth quarter to put themselves in a position to win, up by three with 2.5 seconds left. The Memphis Grizzlies has other plans, however, sending the game into overtime on a banked three-pointer by Marc Gasol, and, eventually defeating the Spurs 117-116 in a triple overtime thriller.
Dec 17, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) shoots the ball over Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Thriller does not even begin to describe this game that had not one, but two miracle shots to keep the game going. In this instant classic, after Gasol sent the game into overtime, San Antonio got a miracle shot of its own in double overtime by way of Tim Duncan, hitting a basket that made contact with the entire rim to send the game into the third extra period tied at 111.
The Spurs actually had a chance to steal the victory on the game’s final possession, however, Manu Ginobili failed to convert a three to give the San Antonio the lead on a shot that was well off.
The comeback story was a big headline in this one. The Spurs trailed by 23 in the second quarter but were able to cut the deficit to only seven at the half. In the third quarter, the Grizzlies attack was once again clicking, leading to a 15 point lead in the third for Memphis.
Free throw issues were also a headline for San Antonio, as the team missed 15-of-27 attempts, some of which could have put the game away for the Spurs.
Other than that issue though, both teams were statistically the same.
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With three extra periods, the game allowed both teams’ players to experience inflated stats. The San Antonio stars were a huge beneficiary of the inflation with Danny Green, 25, Tim Duncan, 23, and Manu Ginobili, 21, all scoring above 20 points in the game. Duncan also recorded 16 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, making his night all the more impressive, especially at 38-years-young.
For the victorious Grizzlies, it was all about their interior duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Gasol had a nice 26 point, nine rebound night, while Randolph put together a monster double-double, 21 points and 21 rebounds.
The loss marked the Spurs second straight, following the team’s defeat on Monday to the Trail Blazers. With the win, the Grizzlies improved their mark to 21-4 on the season and increased their win streak to six games.
Next up for San Antonio is a rematch with Portland, this time with the game being at home. That game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. CT.