Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Monday, November 22nd
Game 2: Saturday, February 26th
Game 3: Saturday, April 16th
Game 4: Monday, April 18th

Spurs 92

(59-22, 21-19 away)

Grizzlies 94

(45-36, 26-14 home)

Coverage: FSSW

7:00 PM ET, April 18, 2005

FedExForum, Memphis, TN

1 2 3 4 T
SA 21 16 24 3192
MEM 23 24 18 2994

Top Performers

SA: G. Robinson 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

Mem: M. Miller 28 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast

Miller's final shot counts ... after the buzzer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Mike Miller knew his game-ending shot was on line. He just couldn't understand why the horn had sounded as he caught the inbounds pass.

Miller scored 28 points, including the 22-foot game-winner with time expiring, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs 94-92 on Monday night, ensuring the Phoenix Suns will finish with the best record in the Western Conference.

The Suns, who played at home later Monday night against Denver, will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

Miller's final shot from the right wing carried more drama than most buzzer-beaters because it technically didn't beat the buzzer.

The Grizzlies inbounded with 1.4 seconds left, but the ball barely reached Miller before the horn sounded. Officials discussed the matter at midcourt for about 5 minutes before referee Steve Javie came to the scorer's table and ruled the basket good.

"I knew it had to count for time," Miller said. "The bottom line is 1.4 seconds, if I can't get that shot off, I've got a really slow trigger. ... Anytime you let one go, you've got to see it go through the net before you think it is good."

Officials Javie, Phil Robinson and David Jones declined comment after the game.

Memphis coach Mike Fratello said the clock started before Jason Williams inbounded the ball, and the officials ruled Miller would have gotten the ball off on the catch-and-shoot before the horn sounded if not for the inadvertent clock start.

"It was a great decision by the officials," Fratello said. "They're allowed to take as long as they need, and they did that."

"Well, that's what they called," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the ruling. "It's not going to change, is it? Then, it doesn't matter what I think."

Memphis, which snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory, had clinched the Western Conference's final playoff spot when Minnesota was eliminated with its loss to Seattle on Sunday. The Grizzlies will play the Suns in the first round.

"We wanted to win so people can stop saying we backed into the playoffs," Memphis center Lorenzen Wright said. "We won the game, and we deserve to be there. ... We won 40-something games earlier in this season, and it was tough to win those games."

Miller scored Memphis' last nine points over the final 1:11 to negate the Spurs' fourth-quarter comeback. His winning shot was set up after Robert Horry missed a 3-pointer on the Spurs' previous possession.

Pau Gasol added 20 points for Memphis, while Stromile Swift had 16.

Glenn Robinson, who signed with San Antonio earlier this month, had 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Tim Duncan scored 17 points and Manu Ginobili had 16.

"It's only my fifth or sixth game, so I'm treating this like camp," Robinson said. "I'm just waiting on the playoffs. Hopefully, when that time comes, I'll be nice and comfortable."

San Antonio played without point guard Tony Parker, who sat out the game with a stomach virus. Popovich hoped to limit playing time for Duncan and Ginobili, but both starters played through the fourth quarter as the game remained close.

Memphis took a 47-37 lead as the Spurs shuffled a carousel of players in the first half.

Ginobili scored nine points in the third quarter, cutting Memphis' lead to 65-61.

Game notes

Parker had played and started all but one game this season. He did not dress March 14 against New Orleans because of a left quad contusion. ... Beno Udrih started in Parker's place and the rookie from Slovenia had 12 points ... The Spurs beat Memphis 97-75 in San Antonio on Saturday. ... Duncan, in his third game since returning from a right ankle injury, played 28 minutes, the most since he came back. ... San Antonio hit all 18 free throws. ... The Spurs lost three of four to Memphis this season, and have lost four straight regular season road games to the Grizzlies. However, they swept Memphis in the 2004 playoffs.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 92 94
FGM-FGA 35-84 (.417) 34-73 (.466)
3PM-3PA 4-15 (.267) 4-14 (.286)
FTM-FTA 18-18 (1.000) 22-31 (.710)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-46 9-40
Assists 18 19
Turnovers 9 9
Steals 6 6
Blocks 9 6
Fast Break Points 8 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 12

Top Performers

San Antonio
Glenn Robinson Robinson
Points: 23
Reb: 3
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Mike Miller Miller
Points: 28
Reb: 9
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0