MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Believe Memphis!
That's the motto on the growl towels, and it's the feeling in Memphis once again after the Grizzlies stormed their way back into their series against the Spurs.
After losing the first two games handily, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs 105-94 in Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs on Thursday night in Memphis.
After a 96-82 loss Monday night in San Antonio, Grizzlies head coach was critical of the referees, sparking his now famous rant, capped off with "Take that for data!"
Fizdale was fined $30,000 for the rant, a fine his players said they would pay for. It's not clear if Fizdale's rant is the reason the Grizzlies looked like a completely different team in Memphis, but there's a good chance it factored in.
The Spurs did get to the free throw line more than Memphis on Thursday, shooting 28 free throws to the Grizzlies' 20, but Spurs star Kawhi Leonard made just four trips to the line--a steep drop off from the 19 trips he made Monday, which was more than the entire Grizzlies team...something Fizdale was sure to mention after the game.
Leonard, who was vital in the Spurs' first two wins, was held in check much more Thursday. After manhandling the Grizzlies in games 1 and 2 for 32 and 37 points, Leonard was held to just 18. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year was very much still a factor, but was outscored by each of the Grizzlies' big three.
Captain Clutch Mike Conley dropped 24 points and eight assists on the Spurs, leading all scorers along the way. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 21 each as the Big Three (minus Tony Allen, who is out for injury) combined for five three-pointers as the team shot 50 percent from the field.
It's a whole new series as the Grizz pull it to 2-1. Now, they'll have a chance to shock the world and tie up a series that most of the country gave them no shot to win--a series that started almost as poorly as they could have imagined.
Game 4 will be Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in Memphis. For a full schedule of the Grizzlies' playoff games, click here.