The Memphis Grizzlies have officially made things interesting with the San Antonio Spurs, as Marc Gasol's clutch play helped them even their first round series at two on Saturday. Gasol hit the game-winning shot with 0.7 seconds left in overtime, giving the Grizzlies a 110-108 win over the Spurs in Game 4. The clutch shot helps the Grizzlies overcome Kawhi Leonard's monster night, as he finished with 43 points in San Antonio's second straight loss. Mike Conley led the scoring for Memphis with 35 points in a game that saw four go-ahead or tying baskets in the final minute of the fourth quarter/overtime. Gasol finished the night with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Grizzlies avenge a 23-turnover game, which the Spurs got 31 points off of. Memphis did hold a 10-point lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation, but the Spurs rallied with the help of Tony Parker, who had 22 points in the game. The series returns to San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Warriors Rally for 3-0 Lead on Blazers
The Golden State Warriors were not only without Kevin Durant for a second straight game, but they were also missing head coach Steve Kerr in Game 3 due to an illness. Despite that, and an 13-point halftime deficit, the Warriors took a 3-0 series lead with a 119-113 comeback win over the Trail Blazers in Portland on Saturday night. Steph Curry led the rally with 34 points, while Klay Thompson added 24, helping Golden State outscore Portland by 19 in the second half. That surge includes a 19-1 run in the third quarter, which made the game interesting the rest of the way. CJ McCollum had 32 points and Damian Lillard added 31 in the backcourt for the Blazers, who led by as many as 17 points in the first half. Portland also got the return of big man Jusuf Nurkic, who had missed the final seven games of the regular season with a non-displaced fracture in his leg. He finished the night with two points and 11 rebounds in the loss. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit, but the Blazers will look to to do just that beginning with Game 4 on Monday night.
Blues, Rangers, Oilers Advance to Second Round
Three more teams advanced to the second round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday night, including the St. Louis Blues advancing past their division rival, Minnesota Wild, with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 5. Magnus Paajarvi scored at 9:42 of overtime, ending the Wild's run after they posted their best regular season in franchise history. Jake Allen made 34 saves, but surrendered a couple of late goals in regulation to help the Wild rally from a two-goal deficit. St. Louis advances to take on another division rival in the Nashville Predators, with Game 1 of that series taking place on their home ice. On the Eastern Conference side of things, the New York Rangers recorded an even bigger upset by ousting the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 Game-6 victory. Mats Zuccarello scored twice, while Derek Stepan added another to help New York advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fifth time in six years. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves as his team won three straight games after falling behind 2-1 in the series. They will face the winner of the Ottawa-Boston series in the second round. Back out west, the Edmonton Oilers went on the road to end their series with the San Jose Sharks with a 3-1 Game-6 victory. Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev each scored in the first, while Connor McDavid added an empty-netter in the third to seal the victory. The Sharks fail to get past the first round one year after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals despite a convincing 7-0 Game-4 shutout in the series. Cam Talbot made 28 saves, surrendering just one goal to Patrick Marleau with 7:48 left in the third period. The Oilers' first playoff run since 2006 continues into the second round, where they will do battle with the Anaheim Ducks.