x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

NBA: Marc Gasol powers Memphis Grizzlies past Oklahoma City Thunder

And in the Eastern Conference, Indiana Pacers record big win over New York Knicks.

Marc Gasol, No 33, scored 20 points as Memphis Grizzlies won. Jamie Squire / Getty Images / AFP
Marc Gasol, No 33, scored 20 points as Memphis Grizzlies won. Jamie Squire / Getty Images / AFP

Marc Gasol scored 20 points and Memphis Grizzlies made all six of their free-throw attempts in the final 63 seconds to beat Oklahoma City Thunder 87-81 in Game 3 of their NBA play-off second-round series.

Gasol scored 16 of his points in the second half on Saturday 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," said Lionel Hollins, the Grizzlies head coach.

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 remaining 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.

Tony Allen and Mike Conley added 14 points apiece for Memphis in the win. Zach Randolph had just eight points on four-of-12 shooting.

Game 4 is on Monday in Memphis where the Grizzlies are 18-1 dating back to February 8.

Reggie Jackson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Durant failed to surpass the 30-point plateau for just the third time in this postseason and Oklahoma City were held to just 36.4 percent shooting from the field.

"We have to keep playing and keep improving. We just have to learn from it. We have to embrace the tough times and get better from it. I believe in my teammates," Durant said.

Gasol was fouled by Serge Ibaka following a spin move to get past Durant along the left baseline. He sank both free throws before Durant missed a short jump shot at the other end of the court. Conley then made two free throws with 50 seconds left in the fourth.

Durant drew a blocking foul on the Thunder's next possession but he bungled both shots.

The Thunder got the ball right back on a turnover but Fisher rushed a three pointer and missed badly. Conley sank two foul shots with 15 seconds to help seal the victory.

Indiana Pacers 82, New York Knicks 71

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 3 of their second round NBA play-off series.

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 2. The Pacers also went 10-of-33 from beyond the arc on Saturday.

The Indiana Pacers now head into Game 4 late on Tuesday with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 21 points for the Knicks, which got Amare Stoudemire back in the line-up after he missed two months because of right knee surgery. Stoudemire scored seven points in nine minutes of playing time.

Knicks JR Smith had nine points. His status for Saturday's game had been questionable because of an illness.

Indiana's biggest problem in Game 2 was turnovers when they committed 21. But they cut that to 17 on Saturday.


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