Memphis Grizzlies take 2-1 lead in series with Oklahoma City | NBA playoffs
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and made two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City 87-81 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Western Conference semifinal series.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies call it grit and grind, and it got them through another rather ugly game.
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and made two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City 87-81 Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
Gasol scored 16 points in the second half as Memphis remained unbeaten at home in the postseason.
The Grizzlies pulled out the victory in a choppy performance for both teams. After struggling at the free-throw line in Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies made all six at the line in the final 1:03 to clinch the victory.
"We just stayed after it like we've done all year long," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "It's not always pretty. Tonight wasn't pretty, but it was pretty for us because we got the win."
Game 4 is Monday in Memphis, where the Grizzlies are 18-1 since Feb. 8.
"I'd rather take my chances with where we're sitting now and try to win all of our home games," Hollins said. "We got a long way to go, and we got to keep battling."
Ex-Sonic Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but had a mere two in the fourth quarter. A 91 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, Durant missed two with 39.3 seconds left. Durant also had 11 rebounds and five assists.
"It's frustrating, but we can't hang our heads," Durant said. "We have to keep playing and keep improving. We just have to learn from it. We have to embrace the tough times and get better from it. I believe in my teammates."
Though teammates need to give Durant more help, especially with Russell Westbrook out because of a knee injury.
The Thunder had its worst scoring and shooting performance this postseason.
Tony Allen had his best game in this series, scoring 14 points for Memphis. Zach Randolph scored a mere eight points but had 10 rebounds.
"It was definitely a good feeling because we didn't play the best Grizzlies basketball that we know we can play as a team," Randolph said.
Game 3 at home
INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Indiana Pacers past New York 82-71 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"We just locked in, and it was just helping one another on the defensive end," George said.
The Pacers are up 2-1, with Game 4 Tuesday in Indy.
Carmelo Anthony had 21 points to lead the Knicks.
"They outrebounded us, they won the hustle today, the little things," Anthony said. "It all came down to us not scoring the basketball. ... We can't beat anyone scoring 71 points."
Amare Stoudemire, who had a right-knee problem, looked rusty after returning from a two-month absence and scored seven points. New York's J.R. Smith scored nine points after missing the morning shootaround because of a 102-degree fever.
• Golden State guard Stephen Curry, who suffered a sprained left ankle Friday in a Game 3 loss to San Antonio, told The Oakland Tribune he expects to play in Game 4 of the West series Sunday.
"If I can give the team anything, I will play," Curry said.