San Antonio beats host Memphis 104-93 in overtime to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tim Duncan scored the first five points of overtime and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 104-93 Saturday night and move a victory away from the NBA Finals.
The Spurs grabbed a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals and have won five straight this postseason. With the memory of blowing a 2-0 lead a year ago in the West finals to Oklahoma City, when they lost the next four, the Spurs shook off their sloppy play early and pushed the Grizzlies to the edge of elimination in the first West finals game played in Memphis.
San Antonio, which didn’t lead until the opening minute of the fourth quarter, can wrap up the series Monday in Memphis and get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since its last title in 2007.
The Spurs made 8 of 10 shots in overtime, with Duncan scoring seven of his 24 points. Tony Parker had five of his 26 in overtime.
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Duncan, 37, said, “I’m not worried about how old I am or whatever, whatever it may be.
“I’m very focused on having another opportunity to make it to a championship and try to win, that’s all.”
Mike Conley led Memphis with 20 points. Marc Gasol had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 14 points and 15 boards, and Quincy Pondexter — a former Washington Husky — scored 15 points.
“We’ve been fortunate to get this far, and we’ve got to play better if we want to continue,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said.
The Grizzlies last led 85-84 with 1:04 left in regulation on a 15-footer by Gasol. After that, they managed only to tie the score twice, the last on a layup by Randolph with 4:27 left in overtime. Duncan scored and knocked down the free throw with 4:10 remaining in OT to put San Antonio ahead to stay.
“One of the best wins I’ve witnessed being a Spur,” guard Manu Ginobili said.
Memphis opened with its trademark grit-and-grind defense, forcing eight turnovers in the first quarter to build an 18-point lead.