Spurs 112, Grizzlies 96
SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Tim Duncan had his second outstanding game this week. This time, his team managed to win.
“He’s just playing great basketball,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Hopefully the rest of us will follow.”
Duncan scored a season-high 37 points against Houston on Wednesday, but the Spurs lost 90-85. On Friday, they blew a big lead in the third quarter but were able to recover in the fourth to improve to 31-14.
“We had a great fourth quarter,” said Duncan, selected to his ninth All-Star team on Thursday. “I thought we moved the ball really well. … Guys got open shots and knocked them down and we took care of the ball.”
Hakim Warrick scored 27 points to pace the Grizzlies, who played without center Pau Gasol (strained left hamstring) and dropped to 11-33—the worst record in the NBA. Eddie Jones had 17 points, Mike Miller 13 and Chucky Atkins 11.
San Antonio squandered a 15-point halftime lead and fell behind early in the fourth quarter before going on a game-clinching 19-3 run to win their last home game before a three-week, eight-game road trip.
“It’s always good to get a win before you go out on the road,” Popovich said. “So we’ll get out there and see if we can continue to improve ourselves.”
The Spurs shot 45-of-74 from the field (61 percent), while Memphis hit 35-of-78 (45 percent.) But the Grizzlies were 11-of-19 on 3-pointers (58 percent) to the Spurs’ 4-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc (27 percent).
“I am coming away from this one with nothing but positives,” Grizzlies coach Tony Barone said. “We battled one of the best teams in the league. … To beat a team like this we still have to grow as a team.”
Memphis opened the second half with a 17-4 spurt, including four 3-pointers and a three-point play, that brought them within two with 6:22 left in the third.
With 3:01 to go in the period, Atkins tied the score at 74 when he hit a 3 from the corner.
“The last couple of games we’ve been talking about how we start the second half,” Warrick said. “We just wanted to go out and make a run. We know basketball is a game of runs.”
After falling behind, Memphis tied it again at 81 on a 3 by Brian Cardinal to close the quarter.
“We had a tough time in the third quarter,” Parker said. “But we just hung in there and in the fourth quarter played great defense.”
The Grizzlies took the lead at the beginning of the fourth when Warrick hit two foul shots. The teams were tied again at 85 with 9:56 left, but San Antonio’s 19-3 run, capped by Finley’s 3 that had the crowd on its feet, put the Spurs ahead 102-88 with 5:01 to go.
“Our intensity level just didn’t stay constant,” Jones said. “Playing a great team like San Antonio, we’ve got to stay with a consistent effort.”
The Spurs took a 29-21 lead into the second quarter.
San Antonio extended its lead to 62-47 at halftime. Duncan led the Spurs with 13 points in the half, all but two of those coming in the first quarter. Warrick had 16 for the Grizzlies.
The Spurs don’t have another home game until Feb. 20 as they take their annual “rodeo” road trip. They visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. … Memphis hosts Portland on Saturday. … The Spurs have won five straight at home and seven straight overall against Memphis. … Duncan said of February’s All-Star game: “It’s unbelievable. I say it every year and people look at me like I’m crazy. I’m surprised every year when I get voted in.”