Two years ago, the San Antonio Spurs suffered a tough defeat in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies, this year they got their redemption as they knocked off the Grizzlies in a sweep of the Western Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals for the fifth time in franchise history.
The Grizzlies pulled off their best season in franchise history as they made the trip to the Western Conference Finals for the first time after knocking out the reigning West champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. Led by Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen. The Grizzlies used defense to their advantage in making the trip this season. Unfortunately for them, they suffered a ton of setbacks that led them getting swept by the Spurs. Their offense struggled throughout the series as they struggled shooting the ball on all ends from three point shooting to free throw shooting. Randolph also got a handful against the Spurs defense which have gone back up to the level we used to see them of. Add to that, they suffered a couple of heartbreaking overtime defeats in this series. To put everything in place, they lost to a better team.
The Spurs came in the series after knocking out the Golden State Warriors in 6 games, and came out swinging in the series, blowing the Grizzlies in Game 1, then pulling off two straight overtime victories before sweeping the brooms in Game 4. The Spurs are a better offensive team than what we have seen from them in previous years as defense had been a staple for this franchise. Tony Parker shot magnificently throughout the series and the Spurs were able to dissect the Grizzlies defense apart with tough screens and great ball movement, something we haven’t seen from them most of the times. Add to that, the shot the free throws well throughout the series. Tim Duncan turned back the clock with his near unstoppable plays. Players like Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter have also contributed big in this run for them. Now they return to the NBA Finals where they won it all in four trips, the last one was in 2007. They’ll be ready to bring the title back to the Alamo City, six years after they last won it.
The Spurs will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The series currently stands with the Heat leading 2-1.
As for the Grizzlies, their magnificent playoff comes to a tough and bitter end. Now the question looms on the players that will stay and go for this franchise. Even the fate of head coach Lionel Hollins is in question. They had a great run this year, but they lost to a better team.
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
GAME 1 @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 85-103 Spurs
Points: Pondexter 17, Gasol 15, Conley 14
Rebounds: Gasol 7, Randolph 7
Assists: Conley 8, Bayless 5
Points: Parker 20, Leonard 18, Green 16
Rebounds: Duncan 10, Ginobili 5, Green 4
Assists: Parker 9, Duncan 4, Ginobili 3, Green 3
GAME 2 @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 89-93 Spurs (OT)
Points: Conley 18, Bayless 18, Randolph 15
Rebounds: Randolph 18, Gasol 14, Pondexter 9
Assists: Conley 4, Gasol 4, Randolph 3, Bayless 3
Points: Duncan 17, Parker 15, Splitter 14
Rebounds: Duncan 9, Leonard 9, Parker 5, Joseph 5
Assists: Parker 18, Ginobili 4, Duncan 3
GAME 3 @ Memphis: Spurs 104-93 Grizzlies (OT)
Points: Parker 26, Duncan 24, Ginobili 19
Rebounds: Leonard 11, Duncan 10, Ginobili 7
Assists: Parker 5, Duncan 5, Ginobili 5
Points: Conley 20, Gasol 16, Pondexter 15
Rebounds: Randolph 15, Gasol 14, Allen 7
Assists: Gasol 5, Conley 4, Bayless 4
GAME 4 @ Memphis: Spurs 93-86 Grizzlies
Points: Parker 37, Duncan 15, Leonard 11
Rebounds: Duncan 8, Ginobili 6, Leonard 6
Assists: Parker 6, Ginobili 6, Splitter 3, Diaw 3
Points: Pondexter 22, Gasol 14, Randolph 13
Rebounds: Randolph 8, Allen 8, Conley 6, Arthur 6
Assists: Conley 7, Gasol 5
Spurs win series 4-0