It was a move made with games like Tuesday night's 99-90 overtime victory against the Miami Heat at FedExForum in mind. Gasol scored seven of his game-high 23 points in overtime and at the end was essentially operating on one good leg.
"He made big plays on the defensive end and big plays on the offensive end," Grizzlies guard Courtney Lee said of Gasol, who also had eight rebounds and four blocks and made all seven of his free-throw shot.
"Twisted (left) ankle and fought through it. That's why you pay that man the big bucks."
Gasol called it one of the Grizzlies' best wins of the season.
"Because we took a hit tonight," he said. "We couldn't find our offense in the fourth quarter, but we didn't let it dictate our defense."
Memphis jumped out to an 89-83 advantage in overtime and the Heat never drew closer than three points.
The Grizzlies (18-16) did not make a field goal over the last 6:32 of the fourth quarter as the Heat (18-13) erased a nine-point deficit and tied the game at 83-83 with 2:57 to play on a hook shot by center Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside compiled five points, 11 rebounds and five blocks before fouling out.
"We showed some grit to get to that point," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
Memphis point guard Mike Conley recorded 16 points and five assists and had a good look at a pull-up jumper with 5.9 seconds left but the ball rimmed out.
Heat forward Chris Bosh (22 points) missed a floater at the buzzer and the game went into overtime.
"One of those shots where you only have one try," Bosh said. "It just didn't go in."
The Heat didn't shoot a free throw in the second half until 4:34 was left in the fourth quarter when Memphis' Tony Allen was whistled for a Flagrant 1. Guard Dwyane Wade (19 points and five assists) missed both attempts.
"They do a good job of defending without fouling and protecting the paint," Spoelstra said.
The game was tied at the half, but Memphis closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run for a 69-62 lead going into the fourth quarter.
But halfway through the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies' offense stalled.
"We slowed the ball down too much," Conley said. "We had pace" in overtime.
Miami hit 33 of 79 shots (44.3 percent) from the floor and was 11 of 29 (37.9 percent) from 3-point range. Memphis was 38 of 87 (43.7 percent) from the field and four of 15 (26.7 percent) from behind the arc.
Point guard Goran Dragic had 16 points and five assists for Miami and guard Tyler Johnson chipped in 13 points with four rebounds and three assists off the bench.
Despite the Heat shooting 56.7 percent in the first half and knocking down four of eight 3-point attempts, the score was tied 47-all at the break.
Miami left points on the board by going nine of 16 (56.3 percent) from the free-throw line through the first two quarters.
"You can't look at it like that," Wade said. "You'll pick each moment apart if that's the case."
For the game, Memphis won points in the paint (52-38) and rebounds (46-38).
And in overtime, Gasol made sure the Grizzlies won the game.
"He's our catalyst," Randolph said. "How he goes is how we go."
NOTES: The NBA suspended Grizzlies F Matt Barnes in connection with a physical altercation he had with New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher back in October at the home of Barnes' ex-wife. The suspension is for two games, so Barnes was to miss Tuesday's game with the Heat and Saturday's game at Utah. PF Zach Randolph replaced Barnes in the starting lineup Tuesday. ... The Grizzlies waived second-year G Russ Smith and signed veteran C Ryan Hollins to back up Marc Gasol. Hollins, 31, averaged 1.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in five games with Washington this season before being released. Hollins made a good impression in the Grizzlies' preseason training camp. ... G Dwyane Wade, who turns 34 in January, played in 29 of Miami's first 30 games. "He's in terrific shape," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "He puts in three hours to (every) one hour on the court."