Mavericks settle for 8th seed in loss to Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed away from Dallas by edging the Mavericks 106-105 on Wednesday night in the regular season finale.
Monta Ellis missed a 17-footer before Conley drew the foul driving to the basket. Dallas had one last shot, but Ellis missed from the top of the key.
Memphis became the seventh team in the West with 50 wins this season. The Grizzlies, who set a franchise record with a 14th straight home win in a single season, will open the postseason Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Avoiding No. 1 seed San Antonio in the first round was the only thing on the line, and Memphis has lost 14 of its last 16 against the Spurs with the Mavericks losing nine straight.
Ellis scored 14 of his 18 points after halftime, including seven in overtime. But Conley had five in the extra period, including the clinching free throws. He was 5 of 7 at the line, though the Grizzlies were just 15 of 25 for the game.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Marc Gasol had 19 points shooting 9 of 13. He also had nine rebounds and nine assists. Conley finished with 22, and Tony Allen had 13. Courtney Lee added 11 despite shooting 3 of 10 from the floor.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 30 points. Devin Harris and Brandan Wright each had 10. Harris also had 10 assists.
The Grizzlies missed their chance to put away the win in regulation.
Memphis was up 93-90 and had just gotten the ball back when Conley crashed into Harris for a charge, giving the ball back to Dallas with 20.3 seconds left in regulation. Ellis then hit a 3-pointer from 26 feet out on the right wing with 13 seconds left over Lee tying it up at 93, and the Grizzlies couldn’t score to avoid overtime.
In overtime, the Mavericks last led 105-102 on a 3-pointer from Nowitzki with 46 seconds remaining. Dallas didn’t score again. Allen had a putback with 38 seconds to go, then Conley sealed the win.
Memphis outscored Dallas 58-42 in the paint and outrebounded the Mavericks 48-39, including 20-15 on the offensive boards. The Grizzlies nearly gave the game away with eight of their 17 turnovers in the fourth quarter. There were 15 lead changes and 16 ties in a game with plenty of playoff intensity in the fourth quarter and overtime with fans on their feet.
The Mavericks came into this game already having won the season series taking the first three games by double digits. They were the last team to beat the Grizzlies in Memphis back on Feb. 5, and owner Mark Cuban was at the end of the bench cheering them on.
Notes: Mike Miller played all 82 games for the Grizzlies for only the second time in his career his rookie season with Orlando in 2000-01. He became only the 23rd player in NBA history to play a full season in his 14th season or later. … Memphis won its fifth straight. … Dallas snapped a six-game road winning streak.