воскресенье, 6 ноября 2016 г.

Spurs wins in OT and survives the Grizzlies

The Spurs had only 1.7 seconds left. They needed a miracle to stave off elimination. And quite frankly it seemed as if they had used up their miracle shot already. The San Antonio Spurs had the best record in the Western Conference Regular Season. At 61-21 overall and 36-5 at home, Tim Duncan and the rest of the Spurs had a good argument to aim at bigger things. Many of us believed that given the right conditions, we could see one heck of a matchup between the Spurs and the LA Lakers down the stretch. Little did I know (and I assume, that was the case for most everyone else) that the Memphis Grizzlies were going to work San Antonio so hard. We have to face the fact that Memphis had been the dominant force in this game. This game five could have been the last game of the season for San Antonio. The Spurs had only 1.7 seconds left. They needed a miracle to stave off elimination. And quite frankly it seemed as if they had used up their miracle shot already. When there were only 3.3 seconds left in regulation time, the Argentinean Manu Ginobili, who scored 33 points, hit a long corner jumper while falling out of bounds in front of the Spurs bench. The shot was originally ruled as a 3-pointer. Upon further review, the official called it a 2-pointer as Manu's left toe was over the line. That kept the Spurs behind by 95-94, and after two free throws from Memphis, the Spurs were down 97-94 with only 1.2 seconds to go. Gary Neal had just completed a 3-point beauty in O.J. Mayo's face to keep the Spurs alive. If the Spurs knew any tricks, if they knew how to invoke yet another miracle, this was the time to do it. There was no tomorrow for San Antonio. It was time to pick their clutch time man. But who was going to take the shot? Manu Ginobili, or Tony Parker, perhaps Tim Duncan could repeat his memorable tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds left against Phoenix in the 2008 playoffs in an electric double-overtime win? Well, it was an undrafted rookie who managed to catch the inbound pass with just 1.2 seconds to turn, drive and jump from behind the three-point arch. Time expired as the ball flied down to the rim. Gary Neal had just completed a 3-point beauty in O.J. Mayo's face to keep the Spurs alive. Once in overtime things got interesting, but not nearly as close as they did in the fourth quarter. Zach Randolph led the Memphis Grizzlies with 26 points and 11 rebounds. He was brilliant down the stretch where he scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Spurs, on the other hand, reacted to the pressure and found an answer in Tony Parker's game. He assured a Game 6 in the overtime scoring 6 of his 24 points in the overtime. Only eight teams in NBA history have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in a 7 game series. The odds are not necessarily on their side, but the Spurs, seem to have what it takes to put on one heck of a fight. San Antonio was the NBA's winningest team for most of the season, until the Chicago Bulls caught up with them. San Antonio needs desperately to become that 9th team this season. They all know this might be their last good shot to win a fifth championship in the Duncan era.

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