Gasol's floater sinks Spurs, DeRozan strikes back in NBA playoffs
Los Angeles (AFP) – Marc Gasol lifted Memphis to a 110-108 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs with a clutch jump shot at the buzzer that allowed the Grizzlies to level their playoff series at 2-2.
Gasol’s floater over Spurs defender LaMarcus Aldridge with 0.7 seconds left capped a thrilling back and forth first round playoff contest Saturday in front of a crowd of 18,100 at the FedExForum arena in Memphis.
Kawhi Leonard scored a playoff career high 43 points for the Spurs, including San Antonio’s final 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Leonard added eight rebounds, six steals and three assists. Leonard’s fade-away jumper with 12 seconds left in regulation gave San Antonio a 96-94 lead.
But Leonard’s brilliant performance was in vain as Mike Conley led Memphis with 35 points and had nine rebounds and eight assists.
Conley, who had 11 points in the final quarter, answered with a floater in the lane with four seconds left to tie the game at 96.
Leonard then missed a 21-footer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
“It is scary as hell watching him,” Conley said of Leonard.
Gasol finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. JaMychal Green had 14 points off the bench and Zach Randolph scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Memphis won despite making a franchise postseason record 23 turnovers that led to 31 San Antonio points.
The Spurs got 22 points and five assists from Tony Parker. Aldridge scored 13 points.
Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan, held scoreless from the floor a game earlier, struck for 33 points and nine rebounds to lead Toronto over Milwaukee 87-76.
The visiting Raptors pulled level with Milwaukee at 2-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series, which continues Monday in Toronto.
The series winner faces a second-round matchup against either defending NBA champion the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Indiana Pacers.
DeRozan had a slam dunk and two key assists in a 12-2 run late in the third quarter that put the Raptors ahead 64-55 and they never trailed again.
“We were aggressive on both ends,” DeRozan said. “We got stops when we needed to, were aggressive when we needed to be and we kept it up for 48 minutes.”
After missing all eight shots of his shots from the field and managing only eight points in a 104-77 game-three loss, DeRozan hit 12-of-22 from the floor and 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
“It won’t happen twice,” DeRozan said of going scoreless from the floor. “It will never happen twice.”
Kyle Lowry added 18 points while Serge Ibaka had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who shot only 41 percent from the floor but kept the Bucks to just 37 percent.
In Atlanta, the Atlanta Hawks led wire-to-wire en route to a dominating 116-98 victory over Washington, cutting the Wizards lead in the playoff series to 2-1.
– Second double-double –
Forward Paul Millsap registered his second consecutive double-double by finishing with 29 points and 14 rebounds as the Hawks clawed their way back into the Eastern Conference series.
Millsap was 12 of 20 from the floor and had five assists. The only blemish on his night was missing four-of-nine free throws. Millsap had 19 double-doubles during the regular season.
“Paul was great,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He got a lot on random shots — his activity on the pick and roll, without the pick and roll, mixing up what he does.”
Game four of the series is Monday in Atlanta.
Atlanta also got 27 points and nine assists from Dennis Schroder. Rookie Taurean Prince scored 16 points.
John Wall tallied 29 points, seven assists and four rebounds for the Wizards. Wall scored 32 points in each of the first two games.
Brandon Jennings came off the bench to score 13 points. Bradley Beal was six of 20 and scored 12 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 11 points for the Wizards.