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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Mike Conley
The towels are showing up all around Memphis. They hang over neighborhood signs and even at a door to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The Miami Heat have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Spurs have dominated for years with the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Memphis is headed to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 88-84 on Wednesday night, finishing off the second-round series in five games. Not bad for a team that seemed to be slashing salary in a bid to stay competitive for years to come.
The Los Angeles Clippers are focusing much more of their attention on Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, and he has only himself to blame.
John Wall scored a career-high 47 points and added eight assists, Emeka Okafor had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the undermanned Washington Wizards beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 107-94 Monday night at Verizon Center.
Prince hit his first three shots, then connected on a pair of fourth-quarter jumpers to finish with 14 points as the Grizzlies defeated the Wizards 85-76.
The Memphis Grizzlies have a hangover so bad sleep was almost impossible, and they can only hope two days can help them shake the sick feeling of blowing a 27-point lead right along with home-court advantage to open the playoffs.
Dwyane Wade knew during pregame warmups that the Miami Heat were going to have a long night. By the end of the first quarter, the Memphis Grizzlies let everyone else know that Wade was right.
After playing in a first-half funk, the Memphis Grizzlies finally relied on better team basketball in the second half.
Kevin Durant bounced back from his worst playoff performance ever to score 39 points, Russell Westbrook had his first playoff triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 105-90 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 on Sunday.
Jason Kidd walked off the court slowly, his blue long-sleeved T-shirt, white jersey and gray warmup pants soaked in sweat. As if an intense scrimmage wasn't enough, he'd also just pushed himself through a series of 3-pointers and free throws _ two series, actually, going through his around-the-arc, to-the-stripe routine on each end of the court.
The Memphis Grizzlies couldn't be more upset _ at themselves.
Coach Lionel Hollins offered his Grizzlies just the antidote to any overconfidence they might be feeling after an amazing comeback victory from 16 points down.
The Memphis Grizzlies aren't ready to curl up and quit against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, especially with Game 6 on their home court.
Mike Conley and Tony Allen each scored 20 points, and Marc Gasol added 18 as the Memphis Grizzlies withstood a second-half rally and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-101 on Monday night.
"I love Pera, but I don't think he could beat Mike," Conley said.
"We have a lot of pride in this team, in this city," Conley said. "It's more than just basketball here, and we owe it to ourselves, owe it to the fans to not get swept and get embarrassed on our home court."