The Spurs traveled to Memphis to take on a Grizzlies team looking to avoid a double-digit losing streak and get their first win under new coach J.B. Bickerstaff. The first three quarters the game followed a similar M.O. to Wednesday’s match-up, with the Grizzlies staying just within arm’s reach, but the Spurs had too much talent and blew the game open in the fourth quarter for a 95-79 win.
Memphis immediately looked more aggressive early, especially on defense. Ben McLemore had a season-high 12 points, Marc Gasol posted a 16-13 double-double, and Chandler Parsons had a strong game to keep things close in the third quarter, but this time the Spurs didn’t need a heroic night from LaMarcus Aldridge (who “only” had 22 points) to be successful.
It was a team effort tonight, and the bench had an especially strong night. Manu Ginobili had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, including an impressive long three after recovering his own bad pass. Rudy Gay was out to put on a show against his former team with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points and 3 assists, and Bryn Forbes had a nice night with 9 points and a thrilling series in the fourth quarter when he blocked a lay-up, hit a three, then had a three-point play in transition.
The Spurs evened things up on the road 5-5 and improve to 15-7 overall. The Grizzles lost their tenth straight and have fallen to 7-14.
- Tonight was another instance of two players who have recovered from Achilles tears on the court at the same. This time it was Gay and Mario Chalmers. Always a good a sight see.
- Another good sight: Kawhi Leonard on the road with his team. Soon, guys. Soon.
- Forbes gets legitimately mad at himself when he misses a three, and more often than not he comes back and makes the next one. That’s the sign of a good shooter’s mentality, and he knows if he doesn’t keep shooting he won’t be on the floor.
- I didn’t realize the Spurs had so many Grizzly ties. Obviously there’s Pau Gasol and Gay, but Joffrey Lauvergne was also originally drafted by Memphis before being immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets.
- Parsons had a buzzer-beater three at the end of the third waived off because it was a half-second too late, which kept the lead at nine, 68-59, heading into the fourth quarter. That may have been a blessing in disguise as they were gradually building momentum and getting the crowd into the game at that point. The Spurs ended up building a 25 point lead in the fourth quarter before garbage time.
- At one point Marc Gasol went diving for a loose ball, landed in the crowd, and was a tad slow to get up. It was nice seeing his former teammate (Gay) and older brother come to help him up and make sure he was okay.
For the Grizzlies fan’s perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.
The Spurs return to action on Sunday to take on the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Tip-off will be at 6:00 PM CT.