All good things must come to an end.
Even if that good thing meant being the top seeded team in the West.
And even if that end meant a loss against the lowest seeded playoff contender.
The San Antonio Spurs lost to the No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies, 99-91 in Game 6 of their first round series. Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 31 points and 11 boards to clinch the franchise’s first ever playoff series win, at the expense of the No. 1 Spurs who had the best record in West entering the postseason with 61-21. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23 points and only four assists.
Memphis became only the second eighth seeded squad to upset the top seeded team. Golden State was the most recent to upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in 2006. They’re set to face the OKC Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Spurs had taken the lead at 4:40 mark, 80-79. But three consecutive field goals after a short timeout brought the Grizzlies back up 85-80. Memphis never relinquished the lead anymore. The 4-time defending champs were looking to stage a rare comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, after winning Game 5 at home courtesy of a Gary Neal 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. The opportunity never came for the Spurs in Game 6, as the Grizzlies secured a comfortable lead down the stretch, tightening up their defense, and making the key shots and free throws down the wire.
The Spurs-Grizzlies series was the last of the first round series to wrap up. The teams for the conference semifinals for both the East and the West are finally in place.
The defending champs Los Angeles Lakers are facing the Dallas Mavericks for the first time since the 1988 postseason series. The OKC Thunder and Memphis will square off for the first time in the playoffs.
In the East, Chicago is set to tackle Atlanta, while the most-awaited match-up between Boston and Miami will tip off on Sunday.
Please don’t ask me what happened the past two weeks. An explanation here would be worth half the day explaining to you what transpired in the last 14 days. Two words, on the other hand, would suffice.
So, now, that you’re back here, reading another blog entry, means I finally got off the hook. Welcome back, every one.
And I must say, I’m back to blogging just in time for a lot of things kicking off this coming week–the lenten season, the “official” summer season, the NBA Playoffs, and so many more. I must give a word of caution, though–I haven’t recovered fully from all the hectic battering the past two weeks. Fact is, my real voice is still hoarse, and I still get dizzied up every now and then due to lack of sleep. And, oh, I forgot to tell you (and remind myself) that I still have a few more scheduled tasks ahead in the next two weeks. Knowing how time quickly flies, it won’t be long before I’m back to the usual grind of things.
But, nonetheless, at least we got our blogging juices running again. I’m glad anyhow that the stats have been pretty fine the last fourteen days. In fairness, the absence of any blog post in the last two weeks still got 40+ hits average per day. Maybe people really likes this blog after all.
So, to all my avid readers, we’re back and blazing once more!
Finally, the skid is over.
The San Antonio Spurs’ 6-game losing streak ended with a 114-97 rout of the Steve Nash-less Phoenix Suns at the AT&T Center Sunday. The win snapped the longest losing streak of the franchise since acquiring Tim Duncan in 1997. It also kept them two-and-a-half games ahead of the Lakers, who had lost in another game Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.
George Hill came off the bench and stepped up for the team with 29 points. Except for Richard Jefferson with 12, all other starters of the Spurs registered only single digit points. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined for only 21 points. It was the bench who gave the Spurs the fighting chance, with Matt Bonner scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Gary Neal contributed 15 points.
The Spurs have 5 more games to play to keep their hold on the top spot. One of the five games they’re playing would be an April 12 meeting against the Los Angeles Lakers, who have only lost twice since after All-Star Break. The Spurs would need to keep winning all of its remaining games if it wishes to capture homecourt advantage when the Playoffs commence.