MEMPHIS — Tim Duncan scored the first 5 points of overtime and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 104-93, Saturday night and move a win away from the NBA Finals.
The Spurs grabbed a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals and now have won five straight games this postseason. With the memory of blowing a 2-0 lead a year ago in the West finals to Oklahoma City, when they lost the next four, the Spurs shook off their sloppy play early and pushed the young Grizzlies to the edge of elimination in the first West final played in Memphis.
San Antonio, which didn’t lead Saturday until the opening minute of the fourth quarter, can wrap up the series Monday in Memphis and get back to the Finals for the first time since their last title in 2007.
The Spurs hit eight of their 10 shots in overtime, with Duncan scoring 7 of his 24 points. Tony Parker had 5 of his 26 in overtime, and Tiago Splitter scored 6 in the extra five minutes to finish with 11.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 20 points. Marc Gasol had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 14 points and 15 boards, and Quincy Pondexter had 15 points. But the Grizzlies, who thrived at the free throw line in knocking off No. 1 seed Oklahoma City in the semifinals, got there only 18 times and made just 10.
The Grizzlies’ last lead was 85-84 with 1:04 left in regulation. After that, they managed only to tie it up twice, the last on a layup by Randolph with 4:28 left in OT. Duncan scored and knocked down the free throw with 4:10 remaining to put the Spurs ahead to stay.
The Spurs dominated the Grizzlies in the paint, outscoring Memphis, 58-42, to offset their 17 turnovers, which the Grizzlies turned into 25 points.
After the Grizzlies outscored San Antonio in the first quarter, the Spurs outscored them in each of the final three periods and overtime, where they had an 18-7 edge.