Randolph saves his best for when it counts

The Memphis Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, just the fourth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed under the NBA’s current playoff format (adopted in 1984). They’re only the second No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in a seven-game series, joining the 2007 Golden State Warriors, who beat the Dallas Mavericks.

Prior to this series, the Grizzlies were 0-12 all-time in the postseason, having been swept in each of their three previous trips to the playoffs. The Spurs get knocked out in the first round for the second time in three seasons, after advancing past the first round for eight straight years.

The Grizzlies went 1-for-9 from three-point range, making them the fourth team in the past 15 seasons to clinch a series in a game where they made just one three-pointer.

Most 4th Qtr Pts Past 15 Seasons
Potential Series-Clinching Game

Zach Randolph was the star, scoring a postseason-career high 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the entire Spurs team 13-11 in the final 4:25 of the game. Over the past 15 seasons, that’s the fifth-best fourth quarter in a potential series-clinching game, putting Randolph in pretty good company.

The Elias Sports Bureau tells us the Grizzlies are just the fourth team to sweep the Spurs at home -- regular season and postseason combined -- in the Tim Duncan era. That’s good news for Memphis fans, as two of the previous three advanced to the NBA Finals that season.

Looking ahead, the Grizzlies won three of four this season from the Oklahoma City Thunder, their opponent in the second round.