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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Silver and Black look to tighten their grip on the tenth seed as they return to the AT&T Center.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs narrowly edged out the Houston Rockets as they went undefeated on their four-game Western Conference road trip while gaining steam towards the play-in tournament. While the good guys have snatched the tenth seed from Los Angeles, they will have an opportunity to extend their season-high four-game winning streak on Wednesday.

The Silver and Black start a three-game homestand as they welcome the second-place Memphis Grizzlies to the AT&T Center for a divisional battle with potential postseason implications for both squads. Ja Morant won’t be available for this Southwest showdown, but head coach Taylor Jenkins and crew have been on a heater without their superstar point guard.

San Antonio Spurs (31-44) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (53-23)

March 30, 2022 | 7:30 PM CT

Watch: Bally Sports Southwest | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)

DraftKings Odds: Spurs +6, O/U 233

Spurs Injuries: Romeo Langford (Out — Hamstring), Doug McDermott (Out — Ankle), Lonnie Walker IV (Probable — Back), Devontae Cacok (Out — On Assignment), Robert Woodard II (Out — Two Way), D.J. Stewart (Out — Two Way)

Grizzlies Injuries: Ja Morant (Out — Knee), Killian Tillie (Out — Knee), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Questionable — Thigh), Santi Aldama (Out — On Assignment), Yves Pons (Out — Two Way), Tyrell Terry (Out — Two Way)

What To Watch For

  • Ja Morant dropped a career-high 52 points on the Spurs last time these divisional adversaries met, and he has dominated them to the tune of 41-6-6 in three contests this season. San Antonio can breathe a sigh of relief as the superstar point guard will be out of commission for this matchup as he recuperates from a nagging knee injury. With that said, Memphis owns a remarkable 18-2 record sans their burgeoning MVP candidate, so refrain from prematurely marking this one down in the win column. Although you might assume most of their victories have come by the skin of their teeth, the truth is they have obliterated opponents. The Morantless Grizzlies are outscoring teams by 18.9 points per game, which is a little more than two times better than the best nightly net rating in the NBA (+8.5). Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, Steven Adams, and Kyle Anderson probably won’t strike fear into the hearts of most fans, but their chemistry has been impeccable. That bunch has logged blowouts versus the Heat, Clippers, Sixers, Bucks, and Warriors. They also paved their way into the league history books when they defeated Oklahoma City by 73 points in December.
  • San Antonio supplanted the Lakers as the tenth seed after the Purple and Gold fell to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. This switch in the Western Conference order marks the first time the Spurs have been this high in the standings since January 8. Although the good guys should give themselves a hearty pat on the back for battling back into the play-in picture, they still have seven games remaining on their schedule. Picking up a dub at home against a potential title contender could help put some buffer between them and Los Angeles. Head coach Gregg Popovich and company could even steal the ninth seed from the Pelicans if they lose on Wednesday night. With their only ticket into the playoffs on the line, San Antonio should have more than enough motivation to knock off Memphis inside the welcoming walls of the AT&T Center.
  • Dejounte Murray has seen some of his worst performances come against the Grizzlies this season. While 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game are great numbers at first glance, his inefficient .351/.143/.833 shooting splits have played a significant role in San Antonio falling short of Memphis in their previous meetings. The first-time All-Star notched a career-high 33 points, seven boards, and 11 assists versus the Rockets on Monday. Hopefully, Dejounte can carry that momentum into what is quite possibly the most crucial matchup for the Spurs for the rest of the regular season. Tyus Jones will presumably draw the unfortunate assignment of guarding Murray, but the Grizzlies have the team defense and length to make life difficult for the 25-year-old guard. Desmond Bane, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, and Jaren Jackson Jr. have hindered Dejounte in the past, so getting others involved could be the key to beating Memphis for the first time this season. Good thing he loves sharing the rock, which is why he dishes out 9.3 assists per game.

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