Gasol helps Grizzlies down Thunder, Pacers outrun Nicks in Indianapolis
Spaniard scores 16 of his 20 points in second half of 'not-pretty game' to give Memphis 2-1 lead against Oklahoma in second-round series
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and Memphis made all six of their free-throw attempts in the final 63 seconds to beat Oklahoma City 87-81 in game three of their NBA play-off second-round series.
Gasol scored 16 of his points in the second half for the Grizzlies, who retained home court advantage by taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference series.
"It's not always pretty. Tonight wasn't pretty, but it was pretty for us because we got the win," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said.
Gasol attempted just four shots in the first half and finished six-of-14 from the field in front of a crowd of 18,119. The Spaniard, who was named the NBA's defensive player of the year last month, drained eight of his nine free-throw attempts and pulled down nine rebounds.
The game was tied at 81-81 after Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher drained a three-pointer with 1:58 left in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder's Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but Durant, a 91 per cent free-throw shooter during the regular season, missed two key free throws with 39 seconds left.
Success at the foul line proved crucial as the Grizzlies made all six of their attempts in the final 1:03 to put the contest away.
In Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds and George Hill hit five three pointers as the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 82-71 in game three of their second-round NBA play-off series.
"The pre-game mantra I had was, 'tonight's my night, tonight's my night'," Hibbert said. "Luckily my hooks [shots] were falling. I was around the basket, tipping balls and creating extra possessions."
Paul George finished with 14 points, eight assists and five steals, while David West had 11 points and 12 boards for Indiana, who rebounded from a 105-79 loss in game two.
Hill also had 17 points for the Pacers, who went 10-of-33 from beyond the arc in front of a crowd of 18,165 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena yesterday.
The Indiana Pacers now head into game four late tomorrow with a 2-1 lead in the series.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 21 points for the Knicks. Amare Stoudemire scored seven points in nine minutes of playing time.