Spurs take 2-0 lead

Tim Duncan and Tony Allen in last night’s game of the Western Conference Finals.

Spurs are now up two games to none after an overtime win against the Grizzlies. This game, however, was not like the first. The difference was Zach Randolph. By the end of the first quarter, he had the same amount of points as he did in the first game. Randolph’s performance was much better and he ended the game with a double-double (15 points, 18 rebounds). This game was a glimpse into how dynamic the Grizzlies can be. They outscored San Antonio 21-9 in the fourth quarter. The difference maker in overtime, and throughout the game, was Tim Duncan.

Duncan led the Spurs team in scoring, ending with 17 points and made six out of eight of the Spurs’ overtime points. The impressive part about this is that he received his fifth foul in the middle of the fourth quarter. Duncan’s physical play and ability to score anywhere off of the backboard was the cause of his 17 points, four blocks and nine rebounds.

Spurs PG Tony Parker also was an essential key to the Spurs’ win and Duncan’s high scoring, ending with 18 assists. Parker has all of the vital elements to being a great point guard. In last night’s game, he was able to move the ball efficiently and get it in the hands of the right man.

Even after the Spurs blew the lead, their veteran status and textbook skill set allowed them to win in overtime.

The biggest debate in the game, however, was the flagrant foul called on Manu Ginobili after he grabbed Tony Allen’s arm when Allen was going up for a fast break layup. When Allen went down, he grabbed his head, but his arm was the first thing to hit the ground. After watching several replays, his head did not hit the ground until after the rest of his body had landed. With this in mind, Ginobili never grabbed, hit or even touched Allen in any place other than his arm. Although it was a hard foul, it did not seem to me to be flagrant.

There has been question as to whether Allen’s fall was… “exaggerated”… with the intention of getting the call. From my point of view, the foul was not flagrant, but the source of Allen’s pain resulted more from how he fell, rather than Ginobili grabbing his arm. This call did seem to change the vibe of the game, but the Spurs found it within themselves to win the game 93-89.

The Grizzlies have home court advantage for game three on Saturday. The game airs on TNT.

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