marc gasol

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.

Now the Memphis Grizzlies, who traded their leading scorer in January, have surged into their first Western Conference finals behind an unlikely Big Three of their own.

Marc Gasol still is Pau’s little brother to some. Memphis thought about trading guard Mike Conley, the son of a track star, early in his career. And Memphis is Zach Randolph’s fourth NBA team.

”Me, Marc and Zach, we all tried to take the team and put them on our back and say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to do. This is what we’ve got to do to be great and get to where we want to go,”’ Conley said Friday. ”We knew we had to step up, and we all did that.”

That they have.

The Grizzlies never won a playoff series with Gay on the court. When they beat the Spurs in the first round in 2011, it came with Gay sidelined by an injury.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press