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Grizzlies Put on the Brink

April 30, 2006|From the Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies played harder and they looked better. However, the result was the same -- they lost, and dropped to 0-11 in the postseason.

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks were just too strong, beating Memphis, 94-89, in overtime Saturday for a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Nowitzki led Dallas with 36 points, including six in overtime, and it was his three-point basket that sent the game into the extra period. The Grizzlies had led, 76-72, with 37 seconds remaining.

Lorenzen Wright fouled the Mavericks' Jason Terry with 28 seconds left. Terry missed the second of two free throws, leaving Dallas behind, 76-73.

Nowitzki then got the ball with 15 seconds left and sent it into overtime with a jumper from the top of the key.

"It's one of the toughest losses and it's very disappointing right now," said Memphis' Pau Gasol, who scored 16 points. "Right now, it's extremely painful."

The Grizzlies, in the playoffs for the third time in franchise history, have the NBA record for postseason losses without a victory. They also tied the NBA record for consecutive playoff losses, set by Denver in 1994.

Chucky Atkins had 20 points to lead Memphis, but he missed the Grizzlies' final shot in regulation.

Memphis started strongly, leading, 23-13, late in the first quarter and, 46-38, at halftime.

After trailing from the first quarter, Dallas pulled away in overtime.

"This is probably one of the most special wins I've been part of here.... This was a gutsy performance," Dallas Coach Avery Johnson said. "We had a reason to give up, but we didn't give up."

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