El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 112, Memphis Grizzlies 92
|Tim Duncan, PF 28 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +17
Oh the fun of battling down low with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Z-Bo hasn’t been near the force against the Spurs that he was a few years ago, but I don’t think that makes it any easier to play against him. With the offensive lift Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili gave the Spurs, Duncan was free to try and gain as much control over the paint as possible.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 30 MIN | 12-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | +13
In terms of being a first option on offense, this was as good as I’ve ever seen Leonard. His midrange jumper was excellent and he looked totally comfortable initiating the offense. He didn’t have one of those major playmaking days on the defensive end, but it wasn’t really necessary against these Grizzlies.
|Tiago Splitter, C 18 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +6
Like Duncan, Splitter didn’t have much to do offensively, but he put in quite a shift on defense, helping keep Z-Bo to eight points on 3-for-9 shooting and just six rebounds.
|Tony Parker, PG 9 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +11
Tony Parker left the game with back spasms and will have an MRI on Monday morning. Otherwise, he had 10 points in his nine first quarter minutes. He looked good until he left the game.
|Danny Green, SG 18 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +4
Weird night for Green. He played about seven minutes in the first quarter, didn’t play in the second, then scored all nine of his points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. I’m having a hard time getting a handle on Icy Hot’s evening.
|Matt Bonner, PF 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4
Welcome back, Red Rocket.
|Boris Diaw, PF 19 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | +19
The Grizzlies are one of those matchups that are better for Splitter than Diaw. He wasn’t bad, he’s just not as suited for the hand-to-hand combat down low as Tiago.
|Austin Daye, SF 6 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2
How Daye got six shot attempts up in six minutes is beyond me.
|Jeff Ayres, C 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -1
Honestly, not much to say about Ayres’ night. This was the type of game he’s useful for, though.
|Patty Mills, PG 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +6
Tied for the game’s leading rebounder against the Grizzlies of all teams because of course.
|Cory Joseph, PG 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +14
Parker leaving the game meant more minutes for Joseph and CoJo did well. Eight points and five assists against this defense is nothing to scoff at.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 26 MIN | 8-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | +16
Magnificent. I have no idea if the 6th Man of the Year train has already arrived at its destination, but this game was a hell of an argument for Ginobili.
|Marco Belinelli, SG 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -3
Pop said after the game that he wanted to get more reps for the Ginobelli pairing, which is always fun. Belinelli couldn’t knock down a shot on Sunday night, I don’t think the Grizzlies are the best matchup for him.
Three Things We Saw
- After the game, Mike Conley said about the Spurs that, “They’ve had our number for a couple of years now,” which I thought was an interesting quote, especially for those who think that San Antonio doesn’t want to face Memphis in the first round.
- The Grizzlies are trying desperately to get in the playoffs, but face a tough battle with Dallas and Phoenix for the final two Western Conference playoff spots, which I touched on in today’s Daily Dime at ESPN.com (Shameless plug alert).
- Even if Tony Parker’s MRI comes back clean on Monday, I’ll be surprised to see him play too much more the rest of the regular season. Gregg Popovich talked on Sunday about the need to play his guys higher minutes in order to get them conditioned to play 40 minutes or so in the playoffs, but he’ll want to keep his guys healthy first and foremost. With the Thunder losing to Phoenix on Sunday night and OKC 4.5 games back of the SPurs, the first seed in the West is all but wrapped up for San Antonio, so there’s not a lot left to play for.