MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 22 (Ticker) -- Mike Miller
nearly gave the
Memphis Grizzlies a spectacular win in their first home playoff
game. Now their first postseason appears all but over.
NBA TV highlights from|
Miller was just long on a game-winning 3-point attempt at the
buzzer, allowing the San Antonio Spurs to escape with a 95-93
victory and a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round
The defending champion Spurs trailed by as many as 10 points but
took the lead for good, 92-91, on a lefthanded jump hook by Tim Duncan
with 1:37 remaining. But San Antonio gave Memphis
numerous chances down the stretch.
Tony Parker split the Grizzlies for 18 points and six assists.|
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airballed a free throw before sinking his second
attempt to open a 93-91 edge with 28 seconds left. Bowen forced
into a difficult jumper, Manu Ginobili
rebound for San Antonio and was fouled with nine seconds to
Ginobili split a pair of free throws to make it 94-91 and, after
a timeout, Memphis' Pau Gasol
dunked to reduce the deficit to
one point with 4.6 seconds left.
"We were trying to get the split and get the three, but I had
the wide-open layup," Gasol said. "I took it -- you got to react
Ginobili was fouled a second later and again split two free
throws, giving the Grizzlies a chance to tie or win. Miller
pulled up some five feet shy of the top of the arc, but his shot
bounced off the back of the rim at the buzzer.
"I thought (the shot) was in, to be honest with you, but all you
can do is hope for a good look," Miller said. "I thought it
was down. I take that shot every day."
"We got the ball to Mike Miller
and he was still able to
penetrate," said Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown
, who received the
Coach of the Year award before the game. "We will take our
chances with Mike from there."
Duncan collected 22 points and 13 rebounds and Tony Parker
scored 18 apiece for the Spurs, who surrendered
just 36 points in the second half.
"They have a hole to get out of," Duncan said. "The win was
great. Situations like that sometimes don't play out."
San Antonio goes for the sweep on Sunday in Memphis.
"There's another game here on Sunday and it will be just as
crazy," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "They're going to come
and play to win. They don't care that they're down 3-0, I
guarantee it. They've got a lot of great kids on that team."
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 22-12 lead, but the Spurs closed
the first quarter on a 17-6 run. Memphis scored the first eight
points of the second period, opened a 48-38 lead with just
under four minutes remaining and took a 57-50 edge to the locker
room after shooting 58 percent (25-of-43).
The Spurs tied it, 74-74, heading into the fourth quarter and
took their biggest lead, 82-76, on a turnaround jumper by Duncan
with 8:57 left. Memphis went on a 12-4 run over the next 4 1/2
minutes and the game was tight thereafter.
Gasol had 18 points and Jason Williams
15 for the Grizzlies, who
were outrebounded, 48-31, and gave up 21 offensive rebounds.
"This is a tough one to swallow," said Miller, who scored 12
points. "We played hard and did everything we needed to win.
When you have a good defense like they have, you can't get open
shots. They made their shots and we did not make ours."