What a sick game last night! These Memphis Grizzlies just keep making NBA history — and believers.Zach Randolph had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Grizzlies advanced to their first Western Conference semifinals and made NBA history in knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Friday night.
Memphis had been the franchise best known for empty seats and the unenviable NBA mark for playoff futility at 0-12 after being swept in its first three appearances. This time, a third straight sellout crowd cheered every basket with a couple of signs begging the Grizzlies to “Finish Them” in a town desperately needing a hero.
The Grizzlies needed 10 seasons in Memphis, but they have become just that as the second No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed since the NBA expanded the opening series to a best-of-seven.
Now Memphis coach Lionel Hollins sees a great opportunity for the Grizzlies to do something really special.
“Not a lot of people knew about us coming in, but we certainly have made some noise and turned some heads and got some attention that probably wouldn’t have been given to us if we’d lost this series,” Hollins said. “We’d just be another eight seed losing to the No. 1 seed.”
They will open the second round in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis. Tony Allen added 11 points, and rookie Greivis Vasquez had 11 off the bench playing 24 minutes with Mike Conley in foul trouble most of the game.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 23 points, Manu Ginobili had 16, Tim Duncan 12 and Antonio McDyess 10.
The Spurs led twice at 2-0 and again at 80-79 when McDyess hit a 15-footer with 4:41 left.
That’s when Randolph, the man cast off and unwanted before he arrived in Memphis in the summer of 2009, took over and scored 17 of the Grizzlies’ 29 points in the fourth quarter.
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