10 Biggest Shots in Memphis Grizzlies' History

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIJuly 31, 2013

10 Biggest Shots in Memphis Grizzlies' History

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    The Memphis Grizzlies have had several special moments in their short history. While they have appeared in only six postseasons with wins in three of them, their recent playoff showings brought some big shots. 

    Zach Randolph had the nerve to put up a three-pointer in the final minute of a 2011 playoff game against the Spurs and made good on the gamble.

    Jason Williams came up with overtime fireworks against the Hawks in 2004.

    Even though Rudy Gay is more easily remembered for missing shots in the clutch, he had his own game-winners while wearing the three shades of blue in 2011.

    Some of these shots were free-throw attempts, such as when Tony Allen launched the Grizzlies to their deepest showing in the playoffs in 2013 with his cool nerves at the charity stripe.

    Follow along for the 10 biggest clutch shots in Grizzlies’ history.

10. Rudy Gay Drops the Winner over LeBron James, Nov. 20, 2011

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    Rudy Gay wasn't willing to fight LeBron James throughout the game. LeBron scored 29 points on 23 shots and Gay scored 15 on 13 attempts.

    LeBron's nine fourth-quarter points would mean little in the end as Gay drove and hit a baseline jumper over him at the buzzer.

    Gay has never been on the level of "King James." However, he hovered over the game's best player on one evening in the first season of the "Super Friends."

9. Marc Gasol's Putback vs. Thunder, March 20, 2013

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    Marc Gasol did his fair share of cleaning on the glass on that March evening. He had 15 rebounds, including three on the offensive boards.

    Gasol's last swipe around the rim was a game-saver. After Zach Randolph missed a baseline jumper, the Spaniard aided his interior buddy by flicking it into the net with 0.9 seconds left.

    The buzzer gave Gasol a chance not only to cherish his own heroic moment, but also his team's second victory out of three regular-season meetings before having a shot at the Thunder in the playoffs.

8. Tony Allen Flips It to Win It Against Golden State Warriors, Feb. 18, 2012

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    The Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors went back and forth in the fourth quarter with eight ties and seven lead changes. Rudy Gay took a pass from Mike Conley and decided to make it his job to take the final shot.

    But he missed.

    Fortunately, Tony Allen made an athletic leap and flipped the ball back up for the game-winner with 5.6 seconds left.

    This was the second straight night on which Gay missed a potential game-winner and a teammate tipped it in.

    Allen, who had an uncharacteristic night by letting Monta Ellis score 33 points, made up for his defensive lapses by cleaning up at the end.

7. Mike Conley Pops a Runner to Beat the Spurs, April 1, 2013

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    The Grizzlies had struggled the year before against the San Antonio Spurs, losing all four of their meetings, but they had a tight series in 2012-13.

    The Grizzlies trailed most of the game in their last meeting of the regular season, but hung close late. Memphis came from behind in the last 1:18 to steal the game.

    Mike Conley capped the rally by scoring the last five points of the game. After nailing a three-pointer to tie it at 90, he drove in and dropped a runner with 0.6 seconds left.

    The win not only put the division rivals in a series split, but also gave the Grizz their second 50-win season and put them one victory away from clinching a franchise-record winning percentage.

6. Mike Miller's Catch-and-Shoot vs. Spurs, April 18, 2005

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    A day after the Grizzlies clinched their second franchise playoff berth when the Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Seattle SuperSonics, they declined to stop shooting for the regular season. The Grizz shot 46.6 percent from the field in a slow-moving game.

    Mike Miller was hot, shooting 12-of-21 from the field, and his fourth three-pointer of the game sealed the victory. 

    Miller caught the inbounds pass from Jason Williams and immediately launched a shot.

    Initially, officials wondered whether the shot went in on time. After review, they confirmed that Miller put it up before the buzzer, noting that the clock started when Williams had inbounded the ball.

5. Zach Randolph Sinks Deep Two Against Mavericks, March 6, 2011

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    The Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks fought a tight battle in the second half of a game that saw nine lead changes in the last 13 minutes of play.

    Zach Randolph played the hero for the Grizz. He scored nine of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter. On the final play, he faced up Brendan Haywood and went to work for the winning score with 0.3 seconds left.

    The victory was the second of 13 for the Grizzlies that March as they rallied for their first playoff appearance in five years.

4. Jason Williams' Three-Pointer in Double-Overtime vs. Hawks, March 29, 2004

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    Jason Williams delivered a great measure of magic in the clutch for the Grizzlies on that evening.

    First, he hit a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. In the first overtime period, he made a layup to bring the Grizzlies within two and then assisted on a basket by Jake Tsakalidis with 2.9 seconds left to get the margin to two again.

    In the second overtime, Williams drained a three-pointer to put the Grizz ahead by two with 26 seconds left. About eight seconds later, he split a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game.

    Williams had 22 points and 10 assists, including 10 points in the last 11 minutes of play.

    The win gave the Grizzlies a tight grasp on sixth place in the West. They took a 5.5-game lead over the Houston Rockets, who had lost that night. The Grizzlies had eight games left at that point while the Rockets had nine.

3. Zach Randolph Seals Win, Game 3 of 2011 First-Round Series

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    Zach Randolph rarely takes three-point attempts, having attempted 149 in 295 games between the regular season and playoffs since joining the Grizzlies.

    In Game 3 of the Grizzlies' 2011 opening-round playoff series against San Antonio, however, Randolph reluctantly popped one in front of Tim Duncan to bury the Spurs. He paused for a moment with the ball, then with the shot clock running out and Duncan shagging away from him, Randolph took the shot and put the Grizz ahead by five with 41.9 seconds left.

    Randolph wasn't accurate for the game, making eight of 21 shots on his way to 25 points, but was true on a big shot he didn't plan to make.

2. Shane Battier's Three-Pointer, Game 1 of 2011 First-Round Series

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    The Grizzlies were seeing the first game of the 2011 playoffs slipping away from them when the Spurs went on an 10-0 run to take a 98-94 lead with 1:04 left. 

    After Marc Gasol cut the gap in half and Tony Parker missed a jumper, Shane Battier spotted up a three-pointer to put the Grizz in front with 23.9 seconds left.

    Battier had been in Memphis when they first made the playoffs in 2004 and toiled through three consecutive postseasons without a win. Finally, he came full-circle to make the shot that gave the woebegone franchise its first playoff victory.

1. Tony Allen's Free Throws to Win Game 5 Western Conference Semifinal, May 16, 2013

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    Tony Allen gave the Oklahoma City Thunder new life by throwing a towel on the court during a Derek Fisher three-point shot with the Grizzlies leading by eight with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

    He redeemed himself in the end by hitting a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left to give the Grizz a four-point lead.

    After a down year at the line in which he shot 71.7 percent, Allen's clutch attempts clinched Memphis' first trip to the Western Conference Finals.

    After putting the Grizz in position to win the series by locking down Kevin Durant, he finished them at the charity stripe.