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Final Score: Spurs bear-ly lose to Grizzlies 112-111

A 4th quarter final push to win fails to seal the deal during clutch time

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs finally arrived back home after an undefeated 4-game road stretch.

Tonight was a need-to-win situation if the Spurs want to make the play-in. Currently, they are battling with the Lakers in a fight for the 10th spot, which the Spurs recently grabbed after the Lakers loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight’s win could have also served as a confidence booster for the Spurs, since the Spurs lost their last matchup against the Grizzlies, and Ja Morant dropped a 52-piece that night.

Unfortunately, the Spurs could not solidify a win, falling to the Grizzlies 112-111.

Leading scorer for tonight’s game was Dejounte Murray, scoring 33 points, while adding 13 rebounds and 3 assists. Keldon Johnson scored 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The bench-unit, who have been playing well as of recent, did not produce offensively and nobody coming off the bench was able to score into the double-digits.

Observations:

  • Michelle Beadle, April Marie, Shayla Hudson, Katie Goodman, and Shelby Coppedge nailed it tonight for the first all-female Spurs broadcast on Bally Sports. Congrats, ladies! If you are reading this, I want you all to know you did a great job.
  • Lonnie Walker is back! Yay!
  • Grizzlies have been doing a good job protecting the Arc, and minimizing the Spurs 3-point attempts.
  • The referees have made a few questionable calls in the first half. The most noticeable one was when Devin Vassell had his 3-pointer taken away by a shady offensive call on Dejounte Murray. Shortly thereafter, Coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout and was yelling at the ref the entire time. No ejection after the yelling? That probably means the ref knows he screwed up.
  • Coach Taylor Jenkins recently said in a Memphis post-game interview that “Everybody eats, its just a confident mentality.” while discussing the Grizzlies’ ability to create assists and solidify wins sans Ja Morant. Tonight is no different. In the first half, the Grizzlies already have 17 assists compared to the Spurs 12.
  • The Spurs ended the first quarter 31-27, keeping the game in reach. However, multiple turnovers and missed offensive shots widened the Grizzlies lead 65-52. Spurs have created double the amount of turnovers the Grizzlies have in the 1st half (Spurs 10-Grizzlies 5). The Spurs are also shooting at 46% while the Grizzlies are shooting at 51%.
  • The Spurs had an incredible comeback in the 4th quarter, squashing an 18-point lead for the Grizzlies and tying at 93 points. However, poor offensive shooting and rim protection caused them to lose a grip of the tie. Also, their defensive scheme they ran tonight has been an issue as well. The Spurs have left 3-point shooters open while collapsing the paint.
  • The AT&T center is going crazy now that the game is down to the wire. The Spurs are down 112-111 with 5.2 seconds left in the game. Unfortunately the final sequence didn’t go in their favor, and Keldon’s shot to the basket did not go in. It felt like a lifetime watching the ball struggling to make it in, and ultimately missing. I could hear hearts shattering throughout the AT&T center.

For the Grizzlies fans’ perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.

The Spurs play at home again on Friday against the Portland Trailblazers. Tipoff will be at 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SW-SA.