Grizzlies Claw Past Spurs 91-88, Lead Series 2-1

The Memphis Grizzlies dominated the opening period Saturday night at the Fed-Ex Forum as they hosted the San Antonio Spurs in game three of their first round Western Conference Playoff series and would hold on to win the contest by a final margin of 91-88. Zach Randolph scored a game high 25 points while center Marc Gasol added 17 more as the eighth seeded Grizzlies now lead their opponents 2-1 in the best of seven series. Manu Ginobili led the way for the Spurs with 23 points while back-court mate Tony Parker had 16 points in the loss. San Antonio would come out sluggish in the first and although they threatened Memphis in the final period they were never able to control the flow of the game.

The Grizzlies would set the tone for the evening during the first as they came out on fire offensively while the Spurs looked as if they would rather be anywhere else but on the court. With 24 seconds left in the period Shane Battier unleashed a hook shot and Memphis would hold the upper hand at the end of the quarter with the score 29-20. The Grizzlies would expand their adavantge to double digits in the second quarter and as the two teams left the court when the game reached the half Memphis would be on top at 52-42.

San Antonio started to rally during the third and would cut their deficit in half by the end of the period as Parker drove the lane putting the ball through the cylinder with eight seconds to play making it a 71-66 contest. With 5:13 on the clock Ginobili split a pair at the line and knotted up the game at 80-80. However the Spurs would soon fall behind once again and the Grizzlies held on to take the series lead.

Randolph scored 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while Gasol had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Mike Conley put up 14 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals while O.J. Mayo came off the bench with 10 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

Ginobili knocked down 23 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks while Parker had 16 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Tim Duncan would have a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocks while George Hill came off the bench with 11 points. Memphis leads the series 2-1 and the two teams will meet for game four on Monday.

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