Memphis, TN – Rudy Gay missed two key free throws late in regulation, but drained a go-ahead jumper with 27.8 seconds remaining in overtime to help the Memphis Grizzlies fight off the San Antonio Spurs, 101-98, in a playoff-like atmosphere at FedExForum.
Memphis was swept by its Southwest Division rival in all four meetings last season and dropped an overtime decision back on Dec. 1 after squandering a 14- point fourth quarter lead.
The Grizzlies also saw a double-digit cushion fall by the wayside on Friday, and needed to survive Tony Parker's game-tying 3-pointer at the regular buzzer to win their fourth straight game.
Gay finished with a team-high 23 points, Mike Conley added 21 points and five assists and Zach Randolph totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds in the statement victory.
"It was a good test of our mental toughness and our togetherness because we did stick together," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We kept operating efficiently offensively, and nobody really tried to go off on their own, and we got the win."
Parker led all scorers with 30 points, while Tim Duncan chipped in 13 points and 15 boards in the Spurs' third straight road loss.
San Antonio never trailed in the fourth quarter until the Grizzlies rattled off six straight points to take an 89-87 lead with 1:04 to play. Duncan tied the game at the other end with a jumper, but Darrell Arthur, who hit the go- ahead shot on the previous possession, answered with a 20-footer.
Danny Green hit the back iron the next time down, and Conley found Tony Allen behind the defense for a lay-in with 19.2 seconds remaining. The outcome appeared to be decided when Green missed again from long range.
But Gay missed two at the stripe with 12.9 ticks to go, and Stephen Jackson made it a one-point game with a 3-pointer. Randolph pushed the lead back to three, 95-92, with two free throws, but 3.5 seconds was enough time for Parker to catch the inbounds pass near midcourt, take three dribbles and fire a 3- pointer over Gay that hit nothing but net as time expired.
Parker opened the extra session scoring with a 3-pointer from the corner, and Randolph countered with a jumper before a series off misses at both ends.
In the final minute, Gay blocked a driving Manu Ginobili at the rim and was whistled for goaltending. After looking at instant replay, however, the officials overturned the ruling and issued a jump ball a midcourt.
Arthur won the tap over Duncan, and Gay connected on an elbow jumper for a 99-98 edge with 27.8 seconds remaining. After Parker's jumper rimmed out, Allen threw an outlet pass to Arthur for a clean flush with 8.9 to go.
Memphis used its foul-to-give with 3.2 on the clock, and Ginobili rushed an off-balance 3-point attempt from the left wing that hit high off the backboard and then the rim. The shot capped a string of seven straight misses by the visitors to end the game.
"We started out pretty well and got ourselves a lead, but they just kept coming," Duncan said of the extra session. "They just made more plays than we did. They just outplayed us."
The Grizzlies trailed 25-22 heading to the second quarter and scored the final eight points of the first half to take a 51-43 advantage into the break.
Both teams shot over 50 percent in the opening half, but the difference came in turnovers, as Memphis converted 12 takeaways into 22 points.
The Spurs cleaned up their mistakes in the third quarter -- they only turned it over three times -- and erased a 12-point deficit with an 18-4 run. Parker started the surge with consecutive buckets and ended it with a three-point play for a 66-64 lead with two minutes left.
Both teams missed easy chances in the closing seconds of the frame, proving vital considering the game was not decided in regulation. Memphis' Jerryd Bayless threw an ill-advised alley-oop pass out of bounds on an uncontested fastbreak, and Tiago Splitter missed an easy layup just before the buzzer. Despite Splitter's miss, San Antonio carried a 71-68 lead into the final frame.
The Spurs were 3-0 in overtime coming in, while Memphis split its two games that went past regulation ... Ginobili and Splitter scored 14 and 13 points, respectively ... Arthur finished with 14 points off Memphis' bench ... Allen, who turned 30 on Friday, scored 10 points, as did Marc Gasol ... Randolph leads the NBA with 24 double-doubles ... The Spurs wound up with 18 turnovers, leading to 26 points ... These teams match up again in San Antonio next Wednesday.