With 1:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of their Tuesday night game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum, it looked as if the visiting San Antonio Spurs, up 96-84, were heading for a comfortable win. More than 6:30 of game time later, they needed a big basket from one of their longtime stars to escape with the victory.
With the game tied at 108-108 in the final seconds of the extra period, Manu Ginobili took a handoff from Tim Duncan and dribbled around the defending Ed Davis and finished a lefty lay-up for the two-point lead. Mike Conley's desperation three-point attempt failed, and the Spurs escaped with the 110-108 victory.
While Ginobili's basket was the biggest play of the game, the Memphis comeback deserves its share of attention. The Grizzlies wiped out the aforementioned lead with a 12-0 run to tie the game with 13 seconds left in regulation. Mike Conley accounted for seven of those points, with Courtney Lee adding a lay-up and James Johnson sinking a pull-up three after his own steal to bring the Grizzlies level.
Ginobili followed up that flurry with a basket to put the Spurs back in front, but Conley answered with yet with a lay-in at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. In all, Conley scored nine of his 30 points in the the final 95 seconds of the fourth quarter, essentially giving the Grizzlies new life.
They nearly turned that comeback into an amazing win, earning their first lead of the game with 2:25 left in OT. Yet it was not to be, in large part due to Ginobili's resolve. One possession before his game-winner, Ginobili badly missed a jumper long off the glass. It was his and the Spurs' good fortune that Duncan was able to wrestle the ball from Davis, earn a foul, and hit both free throws to give the Spurs a two-point lead. After a Johnson lay-up tied things up on the next possession, Ginobili took advantage of his second chance.
The Grizzlies, unfortunately, will probably not be pleased with their moral victory.
(Video via GIFD Sports)
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