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(Tuesday, January 7th)
Final Score: San Antonio 110, Memphis 108 (OT)
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Manu Ginobili's layup with 1.8 seconds left in overtime lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a tougher-than-expected 110-108 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Tim Duncan amassed 24 points and 17 rebounds for a San Antonio squad that blew a 12-point lead with under two minutes to play in regulation before eventually coming away with its seventh straight victory over the Grizzlies, a streak which includes a four-game sweep in last season's Western Conference Finals.
Marco Belinelli tallied 19 points in the triumph, with Kawhi Leonard lending 17 for the Spurs.
Mike Conley poured in 30 points for Memphis, nine of which came during a 14-2 run to close out the fourth quarter that brought on overtime.
Zach Randolph finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss, while James Johnson netted 15 points off the bench.
After furiously charging back to force extra time, Memphis took a 106-104 lead after the just-acquired Courtney Lee buried a 3-pointer with 1:27 to go in OT. Boris Diaw drove and scored for the Spurs on the ensuing possession, however, and Duncan sank a pair of free throws following a Grizzlies' turnover to put San Antonio back up by two with 22.6 seconds left.
Conley then missed a running layup try with time winding down, but Johnson grabbed the rebound and converted to forge a 108-108 deadlock with 8.0 seconds on the clock.
The Spurs put the ball in Ginobili's hands off a timeout, and the savvy veteran delivered by penetrating the lane and putting home a left-handed layup with little time to spare. The basket held up when Conley's long 3-point try at the buzzer came up short.
"That's a play they execute very well," said Grizzlies' head coach Dave Joerger. "In overtime, we decided to switch everything, and [Ginobili] turned the corner against all three guys and against our best athlete [Ed Davis], which is a guy we would love to have taking him on. Ed made a good play on it and Ginobili just made a little bit better play."
San Antonio appeared to have the outcome well in hand long before, holding a seemingly comfortable 91-75 advantage with under 5 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter and a 96-84 lead after Belinelli drained a three with 1:59 to go.
However, the Spurs committed three turnovers in the waning stages and Memphis rose up with a 12-0 tear capped by 3-pointers from Conley and Johnson, the last creating a 96-96 tie with 13.0 seconds showing.
Duncan fed a cutting Ginobili to send the Spurs back on top with 3.6 seconds left, but Conley threw up a runner that bounced off the rim and landed through the cylinder to extend the contest.
"They deserve a lot of credit," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of the Grizzlies. "They don't give in. They're a tough-minded group. I thought they were impressive."
The Spurs were up by as many as 14 points during a first half in which they shot a strong 57.5 percent and carried a 53-41 lead into the intermission, with Belinelli's 14 points leading the way. Memphis closed within five via a 12-4 run midway through the third quarter, but San Antonio answered with an 8-0 surge to build a 70-57 differential late in the frame.
Memphis trailed by a 74-64 count entering the fourth quarter, pulling closer by hitting on 61 percent of its shots in the third.
Conley's 30 points were one shy of a career high, set against Philadelphia on Mar. 7, 2009 ... Lee, acquired from Boston earlier Tuesday as part of a 3-team trade that sent Jerryd Bayless to the Celtics, put up 12 points in 26 minutes in his Grizzlies' debut ... Memphis guard Tony Allen sat out a second straight game with an injured left hand ... Jeff Ayres started at center for San Antonio in place of Tiago Splitter, expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks after spraining his right shoulder against the Clippers on Saturday ... The Grizzlies fell to 0-9 against fellow Southwest Division members this season.
01/08 00:46:40 ET
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