Spurs up 2-0 after win against Grizzlies
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- If the Western Conference finals seem the slightest bit over after two San Antonio wins, hold that thought for a minute.
The Spurs have been here before and don't feel at all comfortable with a 2-0 lead. And if there's any team that's not fazed by such a hole, it's the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the series shifting to Tennessee for Game 3 on Saturday, it's just starting to get interesting.
Tony Parker had 15 points and a career playoff-high 18 assists, Tim Duncan scored San Antonio's first six points of overtime and the Spurs bounced back after squandering a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Grizzlies 93-89 on Tuesday night.
"I think everybody understands that we haven't done anything yet," Parker said. "We just protected our home court."
After outplaying the Grizzlies by a wide margin for the first seven quarters, the Spurs finally showed a little weakness while letting Memphis finish regulation on a 15-2 run to tie it at 85 on Mike Conley's runner with 18.2 seconds left.
Duncan opened the extra period with a layup, and then hit a tiebreaking putback on Parker's missed jumper. He then made a runner that bounced high of the back iron and rattled in for a 91-87 lead with 1:08 to play.
The Grizzlies had a chance to tie after Jerryd Bayless hit a jumper and Parker missed one of two free throws with 14.6 seconds left, but Bayless' 3-pointer from the left wing was off-target.
"I hate that we gave up that big of a lead in that situation," said Duncan, who had 17 points and nine rebounds while missing most of the second half with foul trouble.
"But we were resilient enough to go to overtime and not let it affect us."
A 2-0 lead hardly seems safe for the Spurs, who certainly haven't forgotten how they won the first two games of last year's West finals before losing four in a row to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And the Grizzlies already have rallied once after losing the first two games in a playoff series this year, coming back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in six in the first round.
"We feel like we can get this next game and we have to play with that same confidence that we've always had at home," said Conley, who had 18 points to match Bayless for the team lead. "This series is far from over, and we have to believe that."
After trailing by as much as 18 in the second half, the Grizzlies got the chance to pull even after Manu Ginobili was called for a flagrant foul for pulling down Tony Allen by his left arm on a fast-break layup try with 26.1 seconds left.
Allen hit both free throws and Memphis got possession, setting up Conley's tying basket at the end of a string of seven straight Grizzlies points.
"We were a bit tired. I could see it more in Tony. He was our engine for the whole game," Ginobili said. "He was the one getting us shots and creating for others. We ran a little flat."
Up until the final stretch, Parker had been in control for 2.5 quarters.
Parker kept San Antonio humming along after Duncan went to the bench with four fouls, the last three picked up within a span of 30 seconds, early in the third quarter. Parker provided the assist on the Spurs' first seven baskets of the second half, and then scored the next two on mid-range jumpers before getting pulled for a rest with a 72-54 lead.
The Grizzlies mounted a 16-6 comeback while Parker was on the bench, getting as close as 78-70 after Zach Randolph scored inside following back-to-back Bayless jumpers.
Parker checked back in and soon had the lead growing again, ducking under Darrell Arthur to hit a floater and then knocking down a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 83-70 with 8:14 to play.