NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies oust Spurs
MEMPHIS ó Zach Randolph had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to their first Western Conference semifinals and made NBA history in knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Friday night.
Memphis had been the franchise best known for empty seats and the unenviable NBA mark for playoff futility at 0-12 after being swept in its first three appearances. This time, a third straight sellout crowd cheered every bucket with a couple signs begging the Grizzlies to ěFinish Themî in a town in desperate need of a hero.
The Grizzlies needed 10 seasons, but they have become just that as only the second No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed since the NBA expanded the opening series to a best-of-seven.
They will play Oklahoma City in the semifinals.
Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis. Tony Allen added 11 points, and rookie Greivis Vasquez had 11 off the bench playing 24 minutes with Mike Conley in foul trouble most of the game.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 23 points, Manu Ginobili had 16, Tim Duncan 12 and Antonio McDyess 10.
The Spurs led only twice at 2-0 and again at 80-79 when McDyess hit a 15-footer with 4:41 left.
Thatís when Randolph, the man cast off and unwanted when he arrived in Memphis in the summer of 2009, took over and scored 17 of the Grizzliesí 29 points in the fourth quarter.
He scored 10 of the next 14 for Memphis, with his hook putting Memphis ahead to stay at 81-80. Conley added a jumper, then Randolph hit a fallaway jumper, two free throws and another fallaway jumper for an 89-82 lead with 1:55 left. Randolph went to the bench to a huge cheer with 3.4 seconds left.
The Spurs, winners of 61 games in the regular season and the dynasty with four NBA titles with Duncan, turned the ball over three straight times while Randolph was putting away this franchiseís biggest win. One desperate pass from Ginobili went right off Parkerís hands.
Mavericks 103, Trail Blazers 96
PORTLAND, Ore. ó The Dallas Mavericks have had trouble in the playoffs in recent years, so Dirk Nowitzki didn’t want to take too much away from conquering the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
Not with the Los Angeles Lakers looming.
“Once you’ve been in the playoffs for a number of years, you want to win it all,” Nowitzki said. “Now we’ll see the defending champions so we have our hands full.”
Nowitzki had 33 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Mavs hold off the Blazers 103-96 in Game 6 on Thursday night.