Gary Neal caught an inbounds pass with 1.7 seconds left and forced overtime with a 3-point heave as time expired, and the Spurs staved off elimination with a 108-103 overtime victory over Memphis in San Antonio on Wednesday.
The eighth-seeded Grizzlies lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2, and they will host the top-seeded Spurs on Friday night.
“Coach Pop set up a great play, Tim Duncan set up a great screen,” said Neal, who buried the shot with O.J. Mayo running toward him.
Biggest shot the undrafted rookie’s ever hit?
“Yeah,” Neal said. “By far.”
Neal’s straightaway 3-pointer was the second of two remarkable San Antonio baskets in the final 2.2 seconds of regulation. Manu Ginobili, who scored 33 points, hit the other with a long corner jumper while falling out of bounds to keep top-seeded San Antonio alive.
The basket was originally counted as a 3 that would have tied the score, but the officials went to video review and ruled Ginobili’s toe was on the line.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
At Thunder 100, Nuggets 97: Kevin Durant matched his best playoff performance with 41 points, including the final nine for Oklahoma City, and the Thunder closed out the first-round series against Denver inf ive games.
The Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit in the final four minutes, and Durant provided all the offense down the stretch to send the Oklahoma City franchise to its first playoff series win since it was still in Seattle in 2005.
Guard Arron Afflalo scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who had four other players score at least 11 points.
At Heat 97, 76ers 91: Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by beating Philadelphia.
Mario Chalmers scored 20 points and LeBron James finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which will face Boston starting Sunday.
It was the first series win for the Heat since the 2006 NBA Finals.
“We’re going to be ready,” Wade said. “Philly got us ready.”
Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand each scored 22 points for Philadelphia, which got 13 points from Thaddeus Young, 12 from Jodie Meeks and 10 from Jrue Holiday.
“We fought to the finish,” Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said, “as we said we were going to do.”
Whether Orlando wins or loses the first-round series to the Atlanta Hawks, coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith both will be coming back next season, Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide said. ... Keith Smart will not return as coach of the Golden State Warriors. Smart spent seven years as an assistant with Golden State before replacing Don Nelson just before training camp. The Warriors went 36-46 under Smart.