SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs were almost back to their full complement Saturday night, and they needed all the help they could get to rally past the hard-charging Memphis Grizzles 99-95 in overtime at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs' Big Three returned, along with Danny Green, after famously being sent home for some R&R by coach Gregg Popovich, and the Spurs got big contributions from their famed trio to beat the NBA-leading Grizzlies.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combined for 57 points, and Manu Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with a minute left in regulation that tied the game at 87 and sent it to OT.
In overtime, Parker scored eight of his 30 points. Ginobili had one of his season-high six steals and fed Parker for a layup that gave the Spurs a 91-90 lead with 3:33 left, the Spurs' first lead since early in the third quarter.
Memphis, which entered the game with an NBA-best 12-2 record, seemed to have a firm grasp on a victory as it built a 15-point lead late in the third quarter. The Spurs' bench, which got major floor time in San Antonio's loss at Miami Thursday night, sparked a comeback.
Patty Mills had a steal and layup to end the quarter, then hit a 3-pointer a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter before stealing the ball from Quincy Pondexter for another layup with 8:48 left in regulation.
That sequence gave the Spurs a much-needed spark after a lackluster third quarter in which they were outscored 27-15.
With all eyes in the NBA on the controversy between the Spurs and commissioner David Stern, the Grizzlies quietly stayed on top of the Western Conference standings and ahead of the Spurs 46-45 at the half.
Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay led a collected effort by the Grizzlies, combining for 25 points. The Grizzlies have been noted for their defensive prowess this season, and that was on display as they held the Spurs to 18-of-45 shooting (40 percent), including 0-for-11 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili almost did it all for the Spurs. The trio combined for 17 of the Spurs' 18 first-half field goals. Tiago Splitter scored the only other field goal for the Spurs.
NOTES: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich spoke about the $250,000 fine levied against the team by commissioner David Stern. "I was disappointed by the action," he said. "But what I do from my perspective is a coaching perspective. I think what the league does is from a business perspective, and that's reflected in the action they took." Popovich also declined to discuss whether or not the Spurs will appeal the fine, saying those discussions will be done privately. He said he didn't discuss with the league how to handle resting players in the future. ... Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard missed his ninth consecutive game with a left knee injury. ... The Grizzlies' 12-1 record in November marked their most successful month by winning percentage. ... Guard Tony Allen missed his second consecutive game for the Grizzlies with a groin injury.