DeMar DeRozan hit a pair of free throws with 1 second to play and the San Antonio Spurs survived to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 108-106 on Sunday afternoon in a key Western Conference seeding game at the Visa Athletic Center near Orlando.
Memphis trailed by as many as 11 points midway through the fourth quarter but tied the game at 106 on a Jaren Jackson Jr. 3-pointer with 10.6 seconds to play. DeRozan then drew a foul on Dillon Brooks at the offensive end and canned both shots from the charity stripe.
After a timeout, another Jackson Jr. 3-pointer missed, allowing San Antonio to hold on for its third straight win, dating to the final game before the March 11 stoppage in play because of COVID-19.
The victory allowed San Antonio (29-36) to pull to within two games of the eighth-place Grizzlies in the standings. The Spurs leapfrogged Portland, which lost to Boston on Sunday, into ninth place in the West with six games to play.
The Spurs must hold that spot in the standings and be within four games of Memphis at the end of the seeding games to clinch a spot in the play-in tournament at season's end.
Dejounte Murray scored 21 points and took 10 rebounds to lead a balanced San Antonio attack.
Derrick White added 16, DeRozan had 14 points, Lonnie Walker IV and Rudy Gay scored 12 points, and Patty Mills tallied 10 for the Spurs.
Ja Morant led Memphis with 25 points, with Jackson Jr. scoring 21, Brooks hitting 16, Grayson Allen scoring 15 points, and Jonas Valanciunas pouring in 13 points and taking 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies (32-35).
The Spurs led 31-25 after one quarter and were on top by as many as eight points in the waning minutes of the second period before settling for a 59-54 advantage at halftime.
Valanciunas paced all scorers and rebounders in the first half, with 11 and 7, respectively, while Brooks had 10 points for the Grizzlies. No Spurs player reached double figures in the half, but nine players scored by intermission - paced by nine points each from Murray and Gay.
--Field Level Media