There are two times you never want to face a team: when they’re on an extended losing streak (because odds are increasing that they are closer to their next win), and coming off a coaching change. The Spurs got both tonight with the Memphis Grizzlies losing eight straight heading into San Antonio and having just laid off David Fizdale. The Spurs almost fell into the trap, but LaMarcus Aldridge was there for the rescue.
Aldridge was unconscious in the first quarter with 17 of the Spurs’ first 19 points and had 41 overall for his best game as a Spur. Tony Parker also had an excellent second game back with 10 points and 5 assists in just 18 minutes.
The Spurs did a good job of taking care of the ball with only 9 turnovers, but they also had trouble defending the arc and keeping a Grizzlies team that has struggled on the boards recently off the offensive glass, giving up 11 offensive boards and 11 threes.
Memphis had five players score in double figures, led by 22 points from perennial Spurs-killer Tyreke Evans. They managed to stay within arm’s reach most of the game for the reasons listed above, but the Spurs pulled away late in the fourth quarter behind Aldridge’s strong play and a couple of Patty Mills threes for the 104-95 win, improving to 10-2 at home to 14-7 overall.
- Aldridge hit three triples in the first quarter to tie his career high. 41 points overall was his most as a Spur and third-most for his career.
- Unless his game falls all of a cliff between now and February, there’s no way Aldridge will not make the All-Star game this season, especially with Blake Griffin out injured and Marc Gasol underwhelming.
- Whatever happened to the home-court bounce? I’d love to know how many Spurs shots jiggled out or rolled off the rim.
- Danny Green is Euro-stepping now. Is there anything he has yet to conquer this season?
- Tony is fearless. He’s running after loose balls and long rebounds, not worried about colliding with anyone or falling...it’s a joy to watch him out there being himself again.
For the Grizzlies fan’s perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.
The Spurs return to the court on Friday in Memphis. Tip-off will be at 7:00 PM CT.