Friday, March 7, 2014
The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Marc Gasol scored 20 points and hit two free throws with 1:03 left Saturday to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 87-81 to take a 2-1 lead in this Western Conference semifinal.
Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder moves the ball against Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of the Grizzlies’ 87-81 victory Saturday.
The Associated Press
Gasol scored 16 in the second half as Memphis remained unbeaten at home in the postseason.
The Grizzlies pulled out the win in an ugly performance for both teams following a three-day layoff since Game 2. After struggling at the free-throw line in Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies hit all six at the line in the final 1:03 to clinch it.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points but only two in the fourth quarter. A 91 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, Durant missed two with 39.3 seconds left.
Tony Allen had his best game in this series, scoring 14 points for Memphis. Jerryd Bayless added 11. Zach Randolph scored only eight points but had 10 rebounds.
The Thunder had their worst scoring and shooting performance this postseason. Reggie Jackson had 16 points for Oklahoma City, and Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka each added 13. Durant went 3 of 11 from the floor in the second half, and his teammates went a combined 23 of 69 for the game.
Memphis built leads repeatedly, getting to as much as 10 in the second quarter.
Memphis won despite not winning in the categories the Grizzlies usually dominate. The Thunder outrebounded them 51-44 with a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass. The Thunder also outscored the Grizzlies 44-30 in the paint with a 23-7 edge on fast-break points.
But the Thunder didn't score after Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer with 1:58 left.
The rust from the layoff showed early for both teams. Ibaka missed not one but two dunks in the first half, Thabo Sefolosha had an airball and the Grizzlies, who had been so good at limiting turnovers, had five in the first quarter alone.
Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins switched up his defense on Durant from the first two games in Oklahoma City. He didn't put Allen, who finished fifth in voting for Defensive Player of the Year, on Durant until the final minutes of Game 2. This time he alternated Allen with Tayshaun Prince defending Durant throughout the first half. Allen played Durant most of the third quarter, and that helped limit Durant to 2-of-7 shooting in the period.
PACERS 82, KNICKS 71: Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Paul George added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead Indiana at Indianapolis in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Pacers are up 2-1, with Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points to lead the Knicks, who led only once in the game for a total of 1:16.
New York spent the final 45 minutes trying to play catch-up but never did.
Amare Stoudemire looked rusty after returning from a two-month absence, going 3 of 8 from the field and finishing with seven points. J.R. Smith scored nine points after missing the morning shootaround because of a 102-degree fever.
Indiana took control with a 14-3 run that gave it a 58-44 third-quarter lead, and the Knicks never got closer than eight.
The biggest difference between Games 2 and 3 was how the Pacers played.
Four days after being embarrassed in a 26-point loss at New York, the Pacers got tough.
New York shot just 35.2 percent from the field and made only three 3s, Anthony got into foul trouble by picking up three in a 2:18 span during the third quarter and Indiana finished with a 53-40 rebounding advantage.