MEMPHIS, Tenn — Coming off a passive opening half and with his frontcourt running mate Zach Randolph struggling, Marc Gasol put his foot down over the final 24 minutes.
And the Memphis Grizzlies picked up another ugly win.
Gasol netted 16 of his 20 points in the second half and the Grizzlies retained their home-court advantage with an 87-81 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of this Western Conference semifinal.
The contest was tied at 81-81 after the Thunder’s Derek Fisher swished a right wing 3-pointer with 1:58 left. Memphis, though, which shot just 66 percent (37-of-56) from the foul line over its first two games of the set in Oklahoma City, made all six of its attempts from the stripe over the final 1:03 to seal the outcome.
The Thunder’s Kevin Durant, who scored 25 points and was a 90.5 percent foul shooter during the regular season, missed two key ones with 39.3 seconds remaining.
Tony Allen and Mike Conley added 14 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who remained unbeaten at home in the postseason. Randolph had just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. Gasol finished 6-of-14 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds in the victory.
Pacers down Knicks
INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers bounced back with an 82-71 victory over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
George Hill made five 3-pointers en route to 17 points for the Pacers, who lost Game 2 by a 105-79 margin on Tuesday. Paul George tallied 14 points, eight assists and five steals, while David West had 11 points and 12 boards.
Indiana, which went 10-of-33 from beyond the arc, will head into Game 4 on Tuesday with a 2-1 series lead.
Carmelo Anthony ended with 21 points for the Knicks, who saw Amare Stoudemire return to the lineup. Stoudemire, who had been sidelined for over two months due to right knee surgery, tallied seven points in nine minutes of action.