Eighth-seeded Grizzlies shock top seed Spurs
Zach Randolph finished with 31 points and 11 boards as the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to their first NBA quarter-final by eliminating top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Friday.
“I felt that I could take over the game,” Randolph said. “I wanted to get the ball in my hands get to the paint and take my shots.”
The Grizzlies needed 10 seasons to get there as they emerged as just the second eighth-seeded team to upset a top seed since the NBA expanded the first round series to a best-of-seven.
Memphis knocked out the Spurs in six games and now face Oklahoma City in the next round.
“We are a good team,” Randolph said. “People don’t get to see us a lot. But we got young players who like to play and so we are a team to be reckoned with.”
It marked the first playoff series win in franchise history for the Grizzlies who went 0-12 in their first three playoff appearances.
“This is a blue collar town I am a blue collar player so this is a good fit for me,” Randolph said.
Marc Gasol finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Tony Allen chipped in with 11 points and Greivis Vasquez had 11 off the bench in the win.
France’s Tony Parker had a team-high 23 points for the Spurs who won 61 games in the regular season. Manu Ginobili scored 16, Tim Duncan 12 and Antonio McDyess 10.
McDyess nailed a 15-footer with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter to give San Antonio a 80-79 lead. It was one of just two leads for the Spurs on the night.
Spurs veteran Tim Duncan finished off the second quarter with a dunk that cut Memphis’ halftime lead to 46-43. Duncan, who turns 35 on Monday, has won four NBA titles with San Antonio.
But the Spurs had a half dozen turnovers in the opening quarter as the Grizzlies led 28-16 heading into the second.
Memphis also outscored the Spurs 30-15 in the third quarter.© AFP 2013