Spurs Defeat Grizzlies, 105-93
PARIS (AP) _ Frenchman Tony Parker scored 19 points as the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs opened their exhibition season with a 105-93 victory Wednesday night over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Two-time league MVP Tim Duncan added 18 points as the Spurs played for the first time since beating New Jersey to win the title last spring. Spaniard Pau Gasol led Memphis with 17 points
The Bercy arena, packed to its 14,480 capacity, was engulfed in a roar when Parker was introduced. He’s the only Frenchman with an NBA championship ring.
``For me, this is as exciting as an NBA playoff match,″ Parker said. ``I may never have a chance to play in my hometown of Paris as an NBA champion ever again.″
Duncan and fellow Spur Robert Horry also received loud welcomes as the NBA roadshow came to Paris for the first time since 1997 _ when Michael Jordan visited with the Chicago Bulls.
Parker was quiet for the first two quarters. But he heated up in the third, scoring 10 points and combining with Duncan and Argentine Emanuel Ginobli _ who finished with 13 points _ to give San Antonio the momentum.
Parker, the game’s MVP, also had five assists.
Gasol led the early surge for Memphis, which led 56-44 at halftime.