The Spurs closed the door on the Grizzlies Thursday night in Memphis, 103-96, to win the series 4-2.
Despite losing, it was a gutty performance from the Grizzlies, and the David Fizdale “take that for data” rant actually ignited the team.
To nobody’s surprise, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was the star of the series, averaging 31.2 points per game while shooting a scorching 48.3 percent from the 3-point line.
Tony Parker turned the clock back a bit, averaging 16.2 points in 27 minutes per game.
San Antonio’s reward for winning the series? James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Oh fun!
Game 1 is set for Monday at 8:30 in San Antonio. The game will air on TNT.
For the Grizzlies, Mike Conley proved (again) that he’s a star, averaging 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from the 3-point line. But for Memphis, it seems like the window closing. Conley is 29, Marc Gasol is 32, Zach Randolph is 35 and Vince Carter is 40. Those were Memphis’ four leading scorers this season.
But if we’ve learned anything about the Grizzlies over the last seven years, it’s that they really don’t go away.
DeMar DeRozan is an old-school player. He doesn’t hit threes and he’s oddly efficient shooting long twos. Last night was no different. He led Toronto with 32 points, shooting 12-for-24 from the field (no 3-pointers) and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line.
It wasn’t the prettiest series for Toronto. The Raptors shot just 43.7 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from the 3-point line. But they escaped a series that they were down 2-1 and that’s all that matters.
Toronto gets the reward of playing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Oh yay!
That series starts on Monday at 6 p.m. in Cleveland. The game will air on TNT.
For the Bucks, it’s a tough series loss, but they have such a bright future. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 24.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and four assists per game while shooting 53.1 percent from the field. He’s a star. And with Jabari Parker returning next season, the Bucks should be fighting for homecourt advantage in 2017-18.