Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals seemed to be over at the start of the fourth quarter. It wasn't quite Miami-in-the-opening-round over, but the experienced San Antonio Spurs rode a comfortable 12-point lead into the fourth quarter and had things on virtual cruise control until a few minutes remained in the game. Plus, Memphis had been missing shots all night, from put-backs to open jumpers. It looked like a simple case of home court advantage playing out.
That's when Memphis made their move. Their always strong defense stayed the course and when the Spurs took their foot slightly off the gas they clamped down and forced turnovers. A 15-2 Grizzlies run ensued, as the Spurs made one field goal in the final eight minutes to force overtime, thanks in large part to Tony Allen's four-point play with under a minute remaining. On a breakaway, Allen was fouled by the flop-king Manu Ginobili, and upon hitting the deck hard decided to writhe around in pain as if he hit his head. He didn't, but his apparent agony may have been enough to turn the foul into a flagrant to give Memphis another possession. After Allen made both shots, Mike Conley hit the Spurs with a nasty floater with his off-hand to tie the game.
Their luck didn't continue in overtime and the Spurs were able to take back control and squeeze out a 93-89 victory for a 2-0 series lead. The good news for Memphis is that they know they can hang with San Antonio, which didn't appear to be the case midway through the fourth. Game 3 is in Memphis on Saturday.
I wish they had taken Tony Allen off the court on the stretcher and sprayed his head. That flop may win Grizz the game.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) May 22, 2013
"FREE BASKETBALL!" brought to you by Tony Allen's School of Acting (TASA). #SpursvGrizzlies— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) May 22, 2013
Tony Allen appears to have recovered from that hard, hard fall on his head.— Beckley Mason (@BeckleyMason) May 22, 2013
Props to Tony Allen for continuing to rub his head even though he never hit his head. That's Oscar-worthy.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) May 22, 2013
After watching Tony Allen's flop, Derek Fisher can now retire in peace knowing that the torch has been officially passed to a worthy champ.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 22, 2013
Tie ballgame. After Tony Allen draws a flagrant foul and hits both free throws, Mike Conley scores in the lane. Tied at 85 with 18.2 secs.— Dime Update (@DimeUpdate) May 22, 2013
What a great play by TonyAllen. Flagrant fouls are so often called based on the reaction of the player who was fouled. He sold that one.— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerrTNT) May 22, 2013
On what planet is that a flagrant foul. And they reviewed it, no less. Poor officiating, brilliant acting by Tony Allen— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 22, 2013
After a rewatch, it was a definite flagrant for pulling the arm down in mid-air. But he sold it enough for a fine.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 22, 2013
all the same, you gotta laugh any time someone flops manu into a flagrant foul call. almost enough to make you believe in karma.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 22, 2013
Doesn't matter if Allen was acting or not. It was a flagrant foul.— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) May 22, 2013
That wasn't a flop. Allen was pulled down midair, the most dangerous act in the game. Good call. Solid acting after the fall though.— Jordan Ramirez (@JRAM_91) May 22, 2013
The best, worst flop I have ever seen.— Ramneet S. Baidwan (@RamneetSingh24) May 22, 2013