MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis coach Lionel Hollins warned his Grizzlies they could feel sorry for themselves after Tony Parker hit a 27-footer at the buzzer to force overtime or go back out and win the game.
The Grizzlies chose the second option.
Rudy Gay hit a pullup jumper from 14 feet with 27.8 seconds left, and the Grizzlies held off the San Antonio Spurs 101-98 in overtime Friday night for their fourth straight victory overall and their first over their Southwest Division rival since the 2011 playoffs.
"It was a good test of our mental toughness and our togetherness because we did stick together," Hollins said. "We kept operating efficiently offensively, and nobody really tried to go off on their own, and we got the win."
San Antonio had won five straight in the series since the Grizzlies upset the then-No. 1 seed in the opening round in 2011 in six games. The Spurs also had a 2 ½-game divisional lead on Memphis coming into this game despite Memphis having played five fewer games, and the teams played at postseason intensity despite the calendar.
"It's always going to be a playoff-type feel when you play those guys, no matter whether it's the playoffs or a regular season game," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said. "It's all a test for the postseason. We've got a lot of weapons. As long as we play together and play for each other, good things are going to happen. We've just got to grind it out for 48 minutes."
The Grizzlies needed five more minutes after Parker's 27-footer beat the buzzer and tied it at 95. He also opened overtime with a 3 that turned out to be the Spurs' only bucket as San Antonio went 1 of 10 from the floor. Manu Ginobili missed a long 3 just before the buzzer.
"That was an incredible shot by Tony to give us a chance to stay in the game and get five more minutes to figure it out," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. "We started out pretty well and got ourselves a lead, but they just kept coming. They just made more plays than we did. They just outplayed us."
Darrell Arthur's dunk with 8.9 seconds left gave the Grizzlies the final margin and forced the Spurs to take the desperation shot at the end of the game. Ginobili's shot hit the backboard and then rim.
Gay led Memphis with 23 points, and Mike Conley had 21 points and five assists, hitting all 10 of his free throws. Zach Randolph had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his NBA-leading 24th double-double of the season. Arthur had 14, while Marc Gasol and Allen each added 10. Allen also had three steals on his 31st birthday.
Conley said he even though Ginobili's last shot would go in after watching Parker's 3 tie it up in regulation.
"I thought the team did a great job of not holding their head after a phenomenal shot and two missed free throws," Conley said. "We had the game in the bag, and for them to come back and make it a game and for us to still play hard and not get rattled, showed a lot of self and mental toughness."