MEMPHIS, Tenn. —
They shot only 39.2 percent (38 of 97) Saturday night and would not have needed overtime if they hadn’t gone 10 of 18 at the free throw line. Zach Randolph is only 7 of 16 at the line after not even getting a free throw attempt in Game 1.
Randolph has an NBA-best seven double-doubles this postseason but isn’t scoring as he did against the Clippers or Thunder. Randolph went 1 of 4 in the fourth quarter and overtime combined Saturday night.
“We ain’t been down like this, 0-3, so it’s a different mindset,” Randolph said. “It’s now do or die. We’ve got to come out tomorrow and come out like we came out last game and just sustain it and not break down towards the end of the game.”
The Spurs have been able to frustrate Randolph down low and limit his easy putbacks. The Grizzlies got 19 offensive rebounds but only converted those into 21 points.
With Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner helping defend Randolph, Duncan looked much more like the two-time MVP of 2002 and 2003.
He played 44 minutes, scored the first five points in overtime and finished with a double-double on 24 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five assists and two blocks.
“Timmy has been a consummate professional from the day he got into the league,” Popovich said. “This isn’t anything new for him, playing with the passion he’s playing with. He loves basketball, he loves his teammates, and he decided again he needed to be more aggressive when the overtime period came.”
The same Spurs who scored only 13 points in the first quarter outscored the Grizzlies 18-7 in overtime with Duncan scoring seven. That puts San Antonio on the verge of getting Duncan back to the Finals possibly for the last time in his career.
“That’d be unbelievable,” Parker said. “It’d be amazing, and hopefully I can talk about it more after we win tomorrow. Let’s focus on tomorrow, and then we got what, 10 days to talk about that?”
Notes: Workers got busy as soon as Game 3 wrapped up Saturday night taking down equipment, flipping the basketball arena to be ready for a concert by Paul McCartney on Sunday night. They had much of the stage in place as the Grizzlies began practice, but they will have to flip everything back for Monday’s morning shootaround with Game 4 on Monday night.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker