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Grizzlies-Spurs Game 4 was an instant classic thanks to Mike Conley and Kawhi Leonard

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Conley and Leonard combined for 78 points, 17 rebounds, several big-time shots and one Game of the Year nominee.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs gave the basketball universe its best game of the playoffs so far with a down-to-the-wire showdown where each team’s biggest star set new playoff career-highs, exchanging blow for blow down the stretch.

The Grizzlies took Game 4, 110-108, on Marc Gasol’s game-winning layup in overtime, but this game was about an epic matchup between Mike Conley and Kawhi Leonard.

Conley scored 35 points in 42 minutes, shooting 13-of-23 from the floor in the Grizzlies’ victory. He nearly put up a triple double, adding on nine rebounds and eight assists in one of the best games of his career. He put up 11 in the fourth quarter, stabilizing a Memphis team in shambles with its floor general on the bench to help fend off a rallying San Antonio squad attempting to steal a game on the road.

It was a masterful follow-up to his 24-point, eight-assist outing in Game 3, and the Grizzlies’ floor general had it going all night long.

But Leonard is an All-Star starter for a reason.

He turned in a Herculean performance that featured a playoff career-high with 43 points on 14-of-30 shooting, scoring San Antonio’s final 16 in the fourth quarter. Leonard erased an eight-point deficit with under five minutes left in regulation to force overtime, and his pull-up jumper over JaMychal Green with just 12 seconds left gave the Spurs a two-point lead with valuable time ticking.

That’s when Conley responded with a game-tying floater to send the contest into extra time.

Conley delivered when the Grizzlies needed him most.

Memphis looked like a lottery team when its floor general went to the bench.

With a shortage of timeouts in the fourth quarter and the Spurs clawing within three, David Fizdale had to choose between buying Conley some time on the bench or inserting his guard back into the game. He decided to stop the bleeding.

In a tightly contested game, the Grizzlies outscored the Spurs by not much with Conley on the floor. It was games like Saturday’s that Memphis envisioned when it inked its starting point guard to a $153 million contract, the most lucrative in NBA history.

But Leonard gave the Spurs everything he had.

When the Grizzlies seemed to have the game in the bag in overtime, Leonard activated Terminator level 5,000.

First, Leonard hit a triple to bring the game within two points:

Then after Conley missed a free throw on the other end, the MVP candidate hit a corner three to tie the game.

Leonard became the first player in NBA history with more than 40 points, more than five steals and more than five threes made in a playoff game.

And the Spurs lost.

That’s how good Game 4 was. It was an all-out war between two teams that find a way to meet each other almost every season in the playoffs. The series is now tied at two games apiece and it’s headed back to San Antonio, where the Spurs won the first two matches.

But the Grizzlies proved they can beat the Spurs in a variety of ways. And if both Conley and Leonard show up like they did for Game 4, regardless of who wins, the fans will come out on top yet again.