NBA fans saw one of the best playoff games in recent memory Saturday night as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs 110-108 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
This game came down to offensive play. It seemed that no matter what each team did late in the game, offense prevailed. Both teams, who are known as two of the best defensive units in the NBA, found that this did not help in game four because each team kept knocking down big shot after big shot.
Mike Conley and Kawhi Leonard traded baskets in the final minutes and it seemed like neither could be stopped no matter what was thrown at them. If it weren’t for Kawhi, the Spurs never would have forced an overtime and would have fallen in game four during regulation. He finished with 43 points and became the first player in NBA history to score the last 15 points of a game for his team. He single-handedly kept the Spurs in this game.
However, it was not enough for San Antonio as Marc Gasol knocked down a fade-away, midrange jumper that only left .7 seconds on the clock and gave the Grizzlies the go-ahead basket.
This victory was critical for Memphis as they will now travel back to San Antonio to continue the series. If Memphis were to drop this game, they would have trailed the series 3-1 which would have been a near impossible deficit to overcome.
Now, the series sits even at two. This comes as a surprise to many in the NBA as the Spurs were expected to walk through this series. While all the focus has been on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference, San Antonio has quietly put together a phenomenal season and are contenders to take home the championship this year.
Things do not look as bright for them now, however. The longer this series drags on – granted they win it – the shorter rest period they will have before the next series which would be detrimental to a veteran-laden team like San Antonio.