91 - 99 Final
  for this game

Grizzlies shock Spurs with first-round ouster

Apr 30, 2011 - 5:51 AM Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - They totaled 61 victories during the regular season, won the Southwest Division title, and went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

And now the Spurs are out.

The Memphis Grizzlies made big plays down the stretch to earn a series- clinching 99-91 Game 6 triumph over San Antonio, which became only the second No. 1 seed to fall in the first round since the best-of-seven format was instituted.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, recorded the first playoff series victory in franchise history and will face Oklahoma City in a conference semifinal series starting Sunday at 1 p.m. (et).

"Not a lot of people knew about us coming in, but we certainly have made some noise, turned some heads, and got some attention that probably wouldn't have been given to us if we lost this series," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said. "We would have been just another eighth seed losing to the No. 1 seed. I'm pleased with the way it turned out."

They advanced to the next round thanks to a standout performance from forward Zach Randolph, who poured in 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. He scored 17 of his points in the fourth quarter, hitting 6-of-8 shots from a variety of locations on the floor.

Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 boards for the Grizzlies, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, when they lost their third consecutive first-round series.

San Antonio lost in the first round for the second time in three seasons, unable to climb out of a 3-1 series deficit. The Spurs pulled out an overtime victory in Game 5, but couldn't come up with the same kinds of key shots Friday against a disruptive Memphis defense.

They did come close, though.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, Manu Ginobili made consecutive baskets before Antonio McDyess knocked down a jumper, giving the Spurs an 80-79 edge.

However, Randolph took the game into his hands, scoring six during an 8-0 counter-run that forced San Antonio to come back again.

Tony Parker, who led the Spurs with 23 points, hit an eight-foot runner to bring them within 87-82 with 2:21 left. But Randolph came up with two more shots to effectively secure the win.

On Memphis' next possession, he had the ball along the right baseline with McDyess guarding him tightly. He hoisted up a short, high-arcing shot that fell through without grazing the rim.

The Grizzlies then forced a turnover -- Parker let a pass go through his hands in the right corner -- to get the ball back, and Randolph curled into the lane for a left-handed make.

"We couldn't stop Zach. Zach scored three or four times in a row," Parker said. "We had turnovers and missed shots, so that's a bad combination."

The baskets put Memphis ahead 91-82 with 1:11 to go, and the Grizzlies made enough free throws in the final minute to prevent a miracle comeback.

But then, Memphis hadn't ceded control much after rocketing out to a 14-2 lead. Greivis Vasquez scored six points during the surge and finished with eight in the first quarter, helping the Grizzlies build a 24-16 advantage.

"I thought their athleticism, their strength, their size, really hurt us offensively," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "Offensively we couldn't get a lot done. We really had trouble scoring against their defense. They deserve a lot of credit for that."

San Antonio narrowed the deficit to 46-43 at halftime, and pulled even on Manu Ginobili's three-pointer nearly two minutes into the third quarter.

But Sam Young and Mike Conley followed with baskets to give the Grizzlies a 52-48 edge, and they stayed in front by one or two possessions the rest of the quarter. After Ginobili ended the frame with a half-court shot, the Grizzlies carried a 70-66 lead into the fourth, which Randolph opened with a tip-in to begin his performance.

After quickly erasing the Spurs' only lead of the final quarter, the Grizzlies snuffed out any chance the series would go to Game 7 and head back to San Antonio.

The thought had caused some concern among the Grizzlies and Hollins after the gutting Game 5 loss. The Grizzlies didn't want to give San Antonio a chance to pull off the series comeback on its home court, and a Memphis Commercial Appeal report said Randolph couldn't even sleep.

But thanks to him, the Grizzlies don't have to worry. They can rest easy. The Spurs are down for the count.

Game Notes

The 2007 Dallas Mavericks are the only other No. 1 seed to fall in the best- of-seven first round...In their only previous postseason meeting, the Spurs swept the Grizzlies in four games in 2004...Ginobili had 16 points for San Antonio, which got 12 points and 10 boards from Tim Duncan...Vasquez and Tony Allen finished with 11 points.