The Memphis Grizzlies earned their first playoff victory behind stellar efforts by Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and a massive three-point shot from Memphis’ favorite returning son.
With 23.9 seconds to play, Battier drained a contested three-point shot to give the Grizzlies a one point lead. The shot will be a remembered for a long time in Grizz Country. George Hill missed a three-point try on the following possession, and Tony Allen made two free throws to extend the lead.
Richard Jefferson had an open look at a three-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer, but the try fell short and the grit, grind Grizzlies were able to celebrate the first playoff victory in franchise history.
Randolph led the Grizzlies with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Gasol contributed 24 points and 9 rebounds as the Grizzlies dominated inside.
The Grizzlies escaped both the first and second quarters with slim leads, but fell behind in the third quarter with the deficit getting as high as ten points.
The Grizzlies re-took the lead on a Randolph jump shot with 7:09 left in the third quarter and extended the advantage to 7 points, but the Spurs rallied behind two open Matt Bonner three-pointers to move ahead again with1:28 to play.
Gasol cut the Spur lead to 2 with a strong layup, setting up Battier’s three-pointer.
Tony Allen left the game in the fist half with a strained calf, but returned in the fourth quarter to spark the Grizzlies’ first rally of that period.
The win is the first playoff victory in franchise history for Memphis, and I typed that again because it looks so dang good.
Tony Allen popped the Memphis jersey – again. Spurs fans get to say “Shane-freaking-Battier.” Things are good in Grizz country.
The Grizzlies hold a 1-0 lead over the Spurs in the best of seven series. The next game will be Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Feature photo by Michael Cardwell. Story photo by JD Meredith.