Memphis, which had a lead for only 90 seconds in San Antonio, opened up with its trademark grit and grind defense, forcing eight turnovers in the first quarter to grab an 18-point lead. The Spurs quit turning the ball over and whittled away that lead to set up a doozy of a fourth quarter where the teams swapped the lead 11 times with 10 ties — all in the final 17 minutes.
"They went small real quick, and we couldn't contain the pick and roll ...," Gasol said. "It's painful to watch."
With neither team leading by more than two in the final 8 minutes of regulation, fans stayed on their feet, holding their "Believe Memphis" towels trying to will the Grizzlies to yet another win.
Ginobili scored seven of his 19 points in the quarter, and he put the Spurs back up first with a layup with 1:19 left and then a pair of free throws with 54.5 seconds remaining. But Ginobili also picked up his fourth foul, giving Tony Allen a chance to split free throws and tie it up at 86 for the ninth time. Ginobili then missed a 3-pointer with 20.9 seconds left with Allen getting the rebound.
With the Spurs taking control in their second straight overtime win in this series, they pushed their lead to as much as 11 down the stretch and sent fans heading toward the exits.
The Grizzlies lost for the first time at home this postseason and just their second since Feb. 8. Conley, who led the NBA in total steals this season, set the tone with a steal on the Spurs' first possession.
Parker, who set a career high in the postseason with 18 assists in Game 2, finished with seven turnovers. San Antonio turned it over eight times in the first, with the Grizzlies stealing seven of those, prompting Popovich to pull his starters and go with five fresh Spurs.
"It was one of the worst starts I've ever seen," Popovich said.
Memphis went up by as much as 18 and was ahead 29-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Spurs opened the second quarter with an 11-2 run and hit 10 of their first 15 to pull within 42-36. The Grizzlies went into halftime up 44-40.
In the third, the Spurs pulled within a point six different times only to see the Grizzlies hit another bucket to hold onto the lead. San Antonio closed the quarter with a 12-4 run and trailed 65-64 on a bucket by Duncan.
The Spurs picked up in the fourth quarter and finally got their first lead of the game on a corner 3-pointer from Danny Green — his first bucket of the game — with 11:45 left to set up the back and forth quarter.
Notes: Duncan had his 144th postseason double-double, moving into second by himself behind Magic Johnson. ... Conley's five steals in the first quarter were the most in a quarter of a playoff game over the past 10 postseasons, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He finished with five turnovers. ... The Grizzlies had their 16th straight postseason sellout. ... The Spurs now have played five overtime periods this postseason, the most in franchise history. ... The Grizzlies are 1-2 in overtime games this postseason.