Ginobili, Duncan lift Spurs over Grizzlies 107-101
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies dominance at home could only be outdone by the San Antonio Spurs dominance over the Grizzlies.
Memphis saw its 22-game regular season home-winning streak snapped by the Spurs on Friday night as San Antonio won its ninth straight over the Grizzlies 107-101 behind a triple-double from Tim Duncan.
Manu Ginobili led Spurs scorers with 17 points, while the 38-year-old Duncan recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, the fourth triple-double in his career.
“That’s something very hard to accomplish when you’re 38 and in a tough game that is not one of those games that ends up 138-129,” Ginobili said of Duncan’s feat. “It’s something very hard to do.”
Danny Green added 16 points, while Tony Parker matched Duncan’s 14 points. Cory Joseph had 12 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to thwart several Memphis rallies.
The victory was another example of methodical execution by the Spurs as they built an early lead and never trailed in the game. Defensively, Duncan and Matt Bonner stymied Memphis’ inside game enough that, while Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 28 points and 12 rebounds, frontcourt mate Zach Randolph managed only 10 points on 4 of 11 shooting and eight rebounds.
“Tim Duncan and Matty played just impressive, outstanding defense,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Those are two guys that are really hardcore. .Those two guys were magnificent.”
Mike Conley had 23 points and 10 assists for Memphis, which dropped its second straight. Tayshaun Prince finished with 20, connecting on 8 of 11 shots, including all four from outside the arc.
“I don’t care how many times they beat us before,” Gasol said. “I felt we were going to get them. But, you know, it didn’t go that way.”
While San Antonio shot 48 percent for the game, the Spurs were 14 of 25 from 3-point range, including Ginobili hitting all five of his shots. The Spurs’ 3-pointers came each time Memphis threatened the Spurs lead.
“We spotted them too many points,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said, later adding: “We stood and held the ball too much. We were kind of in a hurry offensively and didn’t screen hard enough to get guys open.”
Memphis was within five in the third, but consecutive 3-pointers from Marco Belinelli and Ginobili, extended the lead back to double digits. Memphis tried to make another run in the fourth, but Joseph, playing for Parker, who suffered a mild calf strain in the third, scored six early points to prevent any significant run by Memphis. Even the Grizzlies’ nine unanswered points down the stretch wasn’t enough to overtake San Antonio.
“We’ve been lucky to come out on top because I think every game we play, nothing’s a blowout,” Duncan said of the series. “It’s not like we’re running away from them. It’s a battle back and forth, and we’ve just made more shots than they have.”
Spurs: San Antonio’s nine straight wins over Memphis, includes sweeps of last year’s series and the 2013 Western Conference Finals. ... Bonner started at center for San Antonio, his seventh start of the season. ... The triple-double was Duncan’s first in the regular season since Nov. 11, 2010 at Golden State.
Grizzlies: Gasol played 40 minutes after being listed as “questionable” before the game with a right knee bone bruise suffered in Wednesday loss at Houston. .. .The loss was the first regular-season defeat for Memphis since losing to Dallas on Feb. 5.
PARKER PROBLEM: Parker left the game in the third quarter with a “mild strain” of his left hamstring and did not return. Spurs officials did not have an update on his condition after the game.
BONNER BONANZA: Not only did Bonner cause problems for Randolph defensively, the 6-foot-10 forward/center posed problems for Memphis, connecting on 3 of 6 from outside the arc. “Matty is just somebody who will do what you want him to do,” Popovich said. “If you tell him to jumper higher, he’s going to jump higher, even though he can’t. He’s that kind of guy.”
Spurs: Host Timberwolves on Saturday.
Grizzlies: Host Heat on Sunday.