Win a playoff game? Check. Win a playoff game at home? Done.
Next? Well, the Memphis Grizzlies are nowhere near satisfied
The Grizzlies are up 2-1 in their opening series with the San
Antonio Spurs after a 91-88 win Saturday night, and they can take a
big step toward becoming only the fourth No. 8 seed to knock off a
No. 1 seed Monday night when they play Game 4 in the
Zach Randolph says the key is staying humble and focused after a
big victory that set off a big celebration in Memphis after the
franchise won its first home playoff game in its 10th season in
”It’s not just about winning a game or two,” Randolph said.
”It’s about winning the series and not let our heads get too big
with this win and stay humble.”
Grizzlies forward Shane Battier, brought back this season in a
trade, is the only person to play in all of Memphis’ playoff games.
He cautioned patience Sunday both for a team and fans suddenly
starting to dream ahead if the Grizzlies can clinch this
”Well, the C word is a long ways away, two games out. There’s a
lot of games and a lot of basketball,” Battier said.
”But I think … the tone was different. From the first time I
was here, we came back to the Forum 0-2 every time. After winning
the first game, I think people were like ‘Hey, ya know Maybe.
Maybe.’ And that hope is pretty inspiring. It’s pretty cool. It’s a
new feeling here.”
The Spurs are busy trying to regroup with center Antonio McDyess
expecting to play Monday night after hurting his neck late Saturday
night, an injury that forced him to the locker room. He practiced
Sunday, but guard Manu Ginobili said his right elbow is still
ailing a bit.
They are fighting a bit of their own history. With Tim Duncan,
the Spurs have never won a series when they started with the
home-court advantage only to lose two of the first three games.
Duncan said the approach doesn’t change trailing 2-1.
”We’ve got to get a lot better at executing our game plan and
being more consistent,” Duncan said. ”We’ve made a lot of mental
mistakes. A lot of the things we saw on the film are easily fixable
if we go out there with a little better focus.”
San Antonio also needs to communicate a bit better after failing
to take a timeout late, which had Ginobili desperately trying to
find someone to pass to when Marc Gasol and Mike Conley kept him
from attempting a tying 3-pointer. The NBA’s best 3-point shooting
team during the regular season also needs to find its shooting
stroke after going 2 of 15 Saturday night.
Ginobili credited the Grizzlies with making it tough for the
Spurs to get open looks from the corner, and he said he and guard
Tony Parker made mistakes not finding teammates open in the
”We’ve been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the
league for 82 games. They’re not falling now,” Ginobili said. ”We
either have to find a way to get our teammates or guys more open,
or we’ve got to attack more or do something else.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said six of nine Spurs are
shooting under 40 percent. The Spurs have been outrebounding the
Grizzlies, a stat Popovich thought would be a big key coming into
”I’m thrilled with and surprised with, but it was our goal. But
we didn’t expect to be shooting this poorly,” Popovich said. ”And
they deserve some credit for that. Their closeouts have been great.
They’ve packed it in and done a really good job defensively.”
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said the Grizzlies have to keep
defending the 3-point line, while watching for the Spurs attacking
”So we’ve got a two-edged sword that we’re dealing with, and
it’s going to be a battle throughout the series,” Hollins
One mistake the Spurs won’t make again is leaving Randolph open
beyond the 3-point line. The power forward hit the clinching 3 with
41.9 seconds left when Duncan went toward the paint, thinking
Randolph wouldn’t attempt such a shot at that point of the game.
Duncan is expected to be on Randolph even more as the series goes
Randolph had 25 points, but the man who averaged a career-high
12.2 rebounds during the regular season needs to improve on the
boards. He had only five rebounds in each of the past two
The Grizzlies also need to play four full quarters. They jumped
up 52-42 at halftime only to watch the Spurs outscore them in each
of the third and fourth quarters. The Spurs tied it twice, but
couldn’t take the lead.
Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo remembers when Memphis couldn’t
protect such leads, and he said this proves they learned from those
mistakes. Now they’re focused on getting four wins.
”After we stole the win in San Antonio, our mindset was just to
protect our home court, so if we do that, all is well,” Mayo
AP freelance writer Clay Bailey in Memphis, Tenn., contributed
to this report.