NBA roundup: Grizzlies take lead
The NBA roundup …
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Mike Conley had 15 points and seven assists to help the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies rout the San Antonio Spurs 104-86 on Monday night and grab a commanding 3-1 lead in their opening series.
The Grizzlies already had made franchise history by winning their first playoff game in Game 1 and added their first playoff win at home. Now they are a game away from becoming the second eighth seed to knock off a No. 1 seed since the NBA expanded to a best-of-seven series and join the 2007 Golden State Warriors.
Game 5 is Wednesday in San Antonio.
Darrell Arthur added 14 points off the bench for Memphis. Tony Allen had 12, Zach Randolph and O.J. Mayo 11 apiece.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23 points, but he also had seven turnovers. Manu Ginobili had 14, Gary Neal 11, and George Hill and Tiago Splitter 10 each. Splitter, a rookie from Brazil, had not played previously in this series.
Tim Duncan had six points on his 35th birthday.
Mavericks 93, Trail Blazers 82
DALLAS ó Holding another double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter, the Dallas Mavericks found a great way to protect it. They just stood and watched the Portland Trail Blazers miss 10 straight shots.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 25 points in the third quarter and the Dallas Mavericks avoided another late collapse to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 93-82 Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.
Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 20 rebounds ó his most ever in a playoff game ó and Jason Kidd had 14 assists to make sure Dallas bounced back strong from blowing a 23-point lead over the final 14 minutes of Game 4.
Now the Mavericks have two days to rest up before trying to close out the series in Game 6 on Thursday night in Portland. It wonít be easy as the Trail Blazers have won all four meetings there this season.
History is certainly on Dallasí side to pull out the series. Of the previous 157 series tied at 2, the Game 5 winner has come out on top 83 percent of the time.
Portland led for much of the first half and was within 75-65 when Game 4 star Brandon Roy made an open jumper at the start of the fourth quarter. But then the Trail Blazers began missing shot after shot. Some were contested, but many were good looks at the basket. The combination helped the Mavericks pull away.
The game changed in the third quarter, with Nowitzki powering a 15-5 run that put Dallas in control. Although the lead provided a nice cushion and the home crowd was louder than usual, nobody was taking anything for granted ó certainly not Portland ó after what happened on Saturday.
This time, though, the Mavs played smart. Their shots werenít always falling, but they were grabbing rebounds and drawing fouls. When Chandler caught a long rebound and J.J. Barea turned it into a layup for a 17-point lead, the Trail Blazers called time out to try calming things down. Dallas fans gave a standing ovation and started to exhale. The lead was at 17 for the first time and Chandler celebrated by walking to the bench with a huge smile, nodding his head and rocking his shoulders.
It only got better for Dallas. Kidd soon hit his first shot of the game, then Stojakovic ended a skid of 10 straight missed 3-pointers by the Mavs, pushing the lead to 20 with 4:24 left.
Portland actually shot better than Dallas ó 43 percent to 41 ó but the difference was on the boards. The Mavericks outrebounded the Blazers 49-37, with Dallas grabbing a whopping 20 on the offensive end. Chandler had 13 of his off his teammatesí misses. It was the most for anyone in the playoffs since Shaquille OíNeal had 14 in 1991.
Jason Terry scored 20 points for Dallas and Shawn Marion added 14.
Roy scored just five points on 2 of 7 shooting over 26 minutes. He was booed when he first went into the game, but fans seemed to lose interest in him.
Andre Miller led Portland with 18 points and Gerald Wallace scored 18. LaMarcus Aldridge had only 12 points.
Dallas led 44-43 at halftime. Both teams had nice spurts, but neither could keep it up for very long. The Blazers scored 28 of their points in the paint, yet took only a single free throw ó for defensive 3 seconds.
The Game 4 meltdown was looming over the Mavs because of its epic proportions. Only two teams had blown such a big, late lead ó and Kidd happened to part of another with the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.
He recalled that club letting up, just like this team did. He also recalled that the ë02 Nets nearly did it again the next game, but held on for the win. They also won the next two games to reach the NBA finals.
ěIt was a great learning experience because it brought us together,î Kidd said earlier Monday.
NOTES: The Blazers finished with 19 free throws. … Portlandís Andre Miller has made four 3-pointers this series. He made four over the regular season. … Mavs owner Mark Cuban went to the locker room in the final minute of the Game 4 meltdown. He explained Monday it was because he had to go to the bathroom after slurping down too many sodas. ěTrust me, emotions didnít have anything to do with it,î he said. ěYou can ask the lady who was feeding me the Cokes.î
The Associated Press