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Grizzlies Top Spurs in 3OT As Gasol and Duncan Trade Buzzer-Beaters

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Both big men forced extra time with last-second bank shots, but the Grizzlies prevailed.

Grizzlies Top Spurs in 3OT As Gasol and Duncan Trade Buzzer-Beaters

Last night, the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs engaged in one of the better NBA games of the season. Memphis ended up winning 117-116 after three overtimes, and there were several thrilling plays from both sides. 

The standout moments came from each team's star seven-footer: Marc Gasol of the Grizzlies and Tim Duncan of the Spurs. With Memphis down three with just 2.5 seconds remaining, the Grizzlies needed to get an open shot on the perimeter. The Spurs forced the ball to Gasol at the top of the key, which seems like a winning strategy. After pivoting around Manu Ginobili, Gasol heaved up a leaning three-pointer, which emphatically banked in to send the game to its first overtime.

A key Ginobili turnover helped force a second overtime, where it looked like the Grizzlies were finally going to wrap up the victory. The Spurs trailed by 3 with 2.6 seconds left, and similarly, the Grizzlies forced the inbounds pass to Duncan near the top of the key. Duncan took one dribble, stepped back and put up a fadeaway shot over Gasol's outstretched hand. Duncan's bank shot was much more dramatic, bouncing on the rim about four times before finally falling through to force a third overtime.

How wild is that? Just one would be fine, but for the teams to trade unexpected buzzer-beaters like that is pretty astonishing. There were no more last-second heroics, however, as the Grizzlies earned the one-point win on the road. Ginobili missed what would have been a game-winning three at the buzzer, and the Grizzlies continued their hot streak. Gasol ended the night with 26 points on 10-16 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds and two blocked shots, while his running mate Zach Randolph dropped a 21/21 line on the Spurs. Tim Duncan finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds, but went just 5-15 from the free throw line in the loss. I'm sure he wishes he could have some of those back.

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