Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was called for a flagrant foul after pulling down Grizzlies guard Tony Allen in transition during the final minute of regulation of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.
San Antonio, holding a four-point lead, turned the ball over with a little less than 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Zach Randolph came up with the loose ball and tossed it ahead to Allen, who had already leaked out behind Ginobili and had a clear path to the basket.
Rather than concede the layup, Ginobili yanked Allen's left forearm, preventing the conclusion of a shot attempt and sending the All-Defensive first-teamer crashing to the court. There, Allen rolled around and held his head, even though replays indicated that he didn't hit his head on the court, and the referees ruled that Ginobili was guilty of a flagrant foul 1 on the play.
"It's such a weird play," Spurs big man Tim Duncan said afterwards. "It's a tough play for the officials. I think Tony just tried to sell it more than anything. The ruling is, if he's in a vulnerable position and they feel that it's excessive then it's a flagrant. I thought Manu did the right thing in trying to prevent a layup and you have to let the referees call what they are going to call."
The flagrant foul helped the Grizzlies turn a two-possession game into a tie game, as Allen hit both free throws and Mike Conley nailed a short jumper to complete the unconventional four-point possession. However, the Spurs ultimately prevailed 93-89 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead.