Grizzlies rout Spurs
MEMPHIS, TENN. Whatever Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said to his team at halftime worked very, very well.
The eighth-seeded Grizzlies outscored San Antonio 30-15 in the third quarter, turning a 2-point halftime deficit into a 104-86 rout Monday night of the Spurs for a commanding 3-1 lead in their opening series.
“It was an incredible performance in the third and fourth quarter,” Hollins said. “We outscored them 30-15 and from the second quarter on, our defense just kept getting better and better.”
San Antonio led 50-48 at halftime, and Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo said Hollins lit such a fire in his team with telling them exactly what he wanted them to do that they couldn’t wait to get onto the court.
“We’re not playing too well in so many words,” Mayo said. “That’s the clean version. And we need to get it together, and play with a lot of energy and play like we’re a desperate team. All year he’s been preaching that the desperate team usually wins, and we didn’t look very desperate that first half.”
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.
“I know a lot of people
didn’t expect us to be here,” Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. “It’s not like we were expected to be up 3-1 at this point. In our locker room, we’re just playing it game by game. We want to come into San Antonio looking to end it there. We’re focused and want to be able to move onto the next round.”
Conley had 15 points and seven assists. Darrell Arthur added 14 points off the bench.
The Spurs finished the game with their starters on the bench for the final 5:43, with coach Gregg Popovich trying to rest them for Game 5 on Wednesday night in San Antonio. Now the Spurs will be trying to avoid their second 4-1 opening series loss in three seasons.
“Obviously, the whole team is very frustrated,” said guard Tony Parker said, who led the Spurs with 23 points.
Tim Duncan was held to six points on his 35th birthday.
n Mavericks 93, Trail Blazers 82—Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 25 points in the third quarter and the Dallas Mavericks avoided another late collapse to beat the Trail Blazers, taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.
Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 20 rebounds and Jason Kidd had 14 assists as 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, where the Trail Blazers have won all four meetings there this season.
History is certainly on Dallas’ 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.