Despite holding a double-digit lead for the majority of the first three-quarters, the San Antonio Spurs blew another late lead to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. The Grizz went on an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter to turn a 7-point deficit into a 10-point lead that the Spurs never recovered from on their way to a 120-108 loss. Memphis ratcheted up the intensity late in the game, and the Spurs did not respond.
The Grizzlies comeback was led by Jaren Jackson Jr., who struggled with foul trouble in the first half, but was dominant in the second. He had 27 points and 5 rebounds. Victor Wembanyama led the way for the Spurs with a bonkers stat line. He had 19 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 8 blocks. Keldon Johnson added in 22 points on 8-13 shooting.
- It was a tale of two halves for the Spurs. In the first half they were getting to the basket, and often times getting to the free throw line. The Grizzlies committed 20 fouls in the first half – the Spurs drew just 5 more in the second. In fact, despite that early foul differential, it was the Grizzlies who got to the line more than the Spurs, thanks to their late game run. Memphis made 29 of its 36 free throw attempts, the Spurs made 21 of their 26.
- The Spurs were hot shooting the ball in the first half, making just over 50% of their attempts. They significantly cooled off in the second half, finishing the game shooting 43.4% from the field. They struggled to convert on looks in the paint, and the Grizzlies lived inside. Memphis outscored the Spurs 56-38 in the paint, and out rebounded them 45-40.
- Wembanyama becomes the first Spur to record 8 blocks in a game since Tim Duncan did it in 2003 against the New Jersey Nets. Wemby was terrific at protecting the rim against Memphis. He held his ground when the Grizzlies interior players tried to get physical with him. It’s encouraging to see the rookie make such an impact on the defensive end of the floor.
The Spurs will be back in the Frost Bank Center on Monday for the first game of a double-header with the Los Angeles Clippers. The last time the Spurs faced the Clippers, they were blown out by 40-points, before the James Harden trade. They’ll look for revenge on Monday at 7 p.m. on KENS5.