Zach Randolph had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to their first Western Conference semifinals and made NBA history in knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, 99-91, in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday.
Memphis, 0-12 in playoff games before this season, won the series in six games. A third consecutive sellout crowd cheered every basket with a couple of signs begging the Grizzlies to “Finish Them.”
The Grizzlies are the second No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed since the NBA expanded the opening series to a best-of-seven.
They will play Oklahoma City in the semifinals.
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Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis. Tony Allen added 11 points, and rookie Greivis Vasquez had 11 off the bench with Mike Conley in foul trouble.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 23 points, Manu Ginobili had 16.
The Spurs led only twice at 2-0 and again at 80-79 when Antonio McDyess hit a 15-footer with 4:41 left.
That’s when Randolphtook over and scored 17 of the Grizzlies’ 29 points in the fourth quarter. He scored 10 of the next 14 for Memphis.
The Spurs, who won 61 games in the regular season, turned the ball over three consecutive times while Randolph was putting away his franchise’s biggest win. He exited to huge cheers in the closing moments.
Atlanta may be without point guard Kirk Hinrich for the second-round series againstChicago. An MRI test showed Hinrich suffered a “significant strain” in Thursday’s clinching victory over Orlando and he is listed as doubtful for the Bulls series.