<
>

Rapid Reaction: Griz 106, Mavs 105 (OT)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The fight to avoid the Western Conference’s 8-seed went down to the wire, with the Dallas Mavericks landing there after a 106-105 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

How it happened: The Grizzlies pulled out a heart-pounding win in a game that had the intensity of a playoff game.

Memphis point guard Mike Conley scored the game-winning points by hitting a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining after a coast-to-coast drive.

Mavs guard Monta Ellis, whose 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in regulation tied the score, was magnificent throughout most of overtime. However, he missed his last two shots in the final minute, including a wide-open 20-footer at the buzzer.

Power forward Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Center Marc Gasol nearly had a triple-double with 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Conley added 22 points and five assists.

Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 30 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining in overtime. Ellis scored seven of his 18 points in overtime.

Ellis had an off night for the first 47 minutes, but he drilled that cold-blooded 3-pointer to tie the score with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. Randolph missed a long baseline fadeaway on the next possession, and the Grizzlies weren’t able to get a shot off after inbounding with 0.9 seconds remaining when the rebound went out of bounds off the Mavs.

The Mavs led by four with two minutes remaining in overtime and three after Nowitzki’s 3 in the final minute, but Dallas couldn’t close the door.

What it means: The Grizzlies get the 7-seed and the Mavs get the 8-seed that comes with a first-round date against the San Antonio Spurs. Memphis will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Dallas (49-33) fell short of 50 wins for the third consecutive season after hitting the milestone 11 straight times. The Grizzlies (50-32) finished the regular season with a franchise-record 14-game home winning streak.

Play of the game: Conley’s frantic drive in transition resulted in a foul by Vince Carter to send Conley to the line for the game-winning free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining. Conley grabbed the rebound after a missed Ellis jumper with 6.7 seconds on the clock and raced coast to coast.

Stat of the night: The Mavs played 22 games that were decided by three or fewer points this season (11 wins, 11 losses). According to Elias Sports Bureau research, that is the most such games for any team in the league and the second-most in a single season in the Mavericks’ franchise history (25 in 1983-84).