Spurs vs. Grizzlies Recap

By Jeff Cerda

After losing to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, the Spurs were hoping to bounce back with what should have been a “W” against a less talented, injury-stricken Memphis Grizzles team with a 39-39 record.

The Grizzlies were without Marc Gasol and Ronnie Brewer. But as Spurs fans know, this does not usually go well for the Spurs when the opposing team is lacking players due to injuries.

In the first quarter the Spurs looked like they were going to run away with the game with the Grizzles looking sloppy at times. The Grizzlies did not score a field goal the last 2:50 of the quarter. With Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and OJ Mayo scoring all but 2 of the first quarter points for the Grizzlies, this was looking like it was going to be a easy win for the Spurs.

The Grizzlies were missing open jumpers and not playing the best of defense and the Spurs were making them pay for it. Seven different Spurs scored in the opening quarter and DeJuan Blair even grabbed his own miss from the free throw line which led to one of Matt Bonner’s six threes for the night. The Spurs were up 30-21 at the end of the first.

The second quarter was where things really started changing. The Grizzlies were still struggling early in the quarter, as far as shooting goes, and the Spurs built the lead to as many as 13 points.

The Grizzles kept fighting and started making shots consistently late in the quarter. They were getting their team involved in the scoring this quarter instead of just the trio of Mayo, Gay and Randolph carrying the load. The Spurs were blowing assignments defensively and it was the Grizzlies who were making the Spurs pay this time. In the last 2:30 of the quarter the Grizzlies outscored the Spurs 14-7 and the Spurs got outscored 37-27 in the whole quarter and ended up going in to the half down 58-57.

The Grizzles started the third quarter on a 9-2 run to go up 67-59. The Spurs would answer with back-to-back three-point shots from Manu Ginobili and Bonner which put the Spurs to within 69-65. San Antonio was starting to look good again after blowing that 13 point lead.

A few moments later Ginobili got a steal and made a nice cross-court pass to a waiting Garrett Temple for a three-point shot which put the Spurs down only one and forced the Grizzlies to call time out and talk things over. After the time out the two teams went back and forth exchanging the lead a couple of times, but the Grizzlies would lead at the end of the third quarter at 84-80.

Early in the fourth quarter the Spurs were getting the stops they needed but they were not getting the buckets they needed on the offensive end to fully capitalize. At one point the Spurs got seven consecutive stops but only produced two points off of them. Two points off of seven straight stops is not going to get it done, especially when it is in the fourth quarter, the most crucial time of the game.

With 3:26 to go in the game the Spurs trailed 100-94, an illegal defense free-throw from Ginobili, a pair of free-throws and a put back from Tim Duncan put them within one with 2:30 to go. The Grizzlies kept their composure and answered with a Mike Conley jump-shot and the Spurs started to get desperate.

In the remaining minutes of the game the Spurs decided to start shooting up three-pointers with no luck. Roger Mason, Bonner, Temple, Ginobili and even Duncan all missed three pointers. In the last 2:30 of the game it was the Spurs who went scoreless to end the quarter, while the Grizzlies scored the last eight points to take the game 107-99.

The Spurs shot 32% from the three-point line while the Grizzlies shot 44%, and with Memphis shooting nearly 50% from the 3 point line, it’s hard to win. Another tough loss for the Spurs as the roller-coaster regular season comes closer to the end.

Game Notes:

  • Garrett Temple got his third straight start since Tony Parker is working his way back in the line up from a broken hand and George Hill nursing a sprained ankle. Temple had eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and was 3 of 7 from the field on 26 minutes of playing time.
  • George Hill has still not participated in practices and his timetable for a return is unknown. With Parker’s minutes increasing as the games come along, look for him to start come playoff time.
  • The Spurs were outrebounded 48-39 with Zach Randolph grabbing 15 for the Grizzlies. Duncan recorded his 37th double double while Zach Randolph recorded his 55th, putting him in second for the season trailing only Dwight Howard.
  • The Spurs are in the eighth spot at 48-31 in the Western Conference playoff race which currently pits them against the Los Angeles Lakers. A team the Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich admitted wanting to avoid.
  • The Spurs will next play the Denver Nuggets in Denver.

Spurs vs. Grizzlies Recap

After coming off a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats last night, the Spurs (24-14) next took on the Memphis Grizzlies (20-18) in Memphis.

The Grizzlies were currently on a two game winning streak heading into tonight’s game.  However, this Grizzlies team has lost six straight against the Spurs prior to tonight’s game. This team is made up of exciting and up and coming NBA players such as O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies were 13-5 at home this season and looked to continue their winning ways as they have won eight straight games at home.

The Spurs came in after a loss to the Bobcats. They shot 39% from the field and hoped to find their shooting touch.  Tim Duncan struggled in the game going 4-12 for the night but wasn’t the only Spur to struggle.  These aren’t the Grizzlies of old and the Spurs should not downplay this opponent.

So how did the Spurs do in Memphis? This is how it went down.

First Quarter:

The Spurs started with Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Tony Parker, and Keith Bogans.

Bogans got things going for the Spurs as he got in the lane for an easy two.  He also hit a three for the Spurs.  Parker then hit a mid-range shot as the Spurs went up 7-2 early in the quarter.  Duncan went aggressive to the rim for an easy two. At the 9:26 point of the game it was 9-2 Spurs with the lead.

Duncan stepped out to hit a jumper for the Spurs, as the Spurs looked much more comfortable shooting from the field unlike last night against the Bobcats.  Duncan then schooled Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and got the “and 1” on Gasol.  At the 6:18 point of the quarter it was 18-11, Spurs with the lead.

The Grizzlies continued to claw back in the game as Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph got the offensive board for the put back.  Duncan continued to tear apart Marc Gasol as he continue to score against him.  Duncan continued to dominate in the quarter as he was also getting it done on the defensive end by blocking shots and rebounding.  But Memphis went on a 10-2 run on the Spurs to cut the Spurs lead.  Marc Gasol then hit a shot in the lane to tie up the game at 20.  But Manu saved the ball from going out of bounds to set up Duncan for an easy bucket.  At the 2:15 point it was 22-20, Spurs with the lead.

Mason then hit a corner three for the Spurs and then hit a running jumper.  Nice to see Mason in a flow.  After the first it was 27-24, Spurs with the lead.

The Spurs shot 60% from the field, 67% from the three-point line, and 33% from the free-thorw line. Spurs were led by Duncan with 13 points. Spurs grabbed 11 rebounds and committed three turnovers.

Second Quarter:

The Spurs started with Mason, Jefferson, Hill, Ratliff, and Ginobili.

Manu hit a three for the Spurs but the Spurs overall were cold from the field early on in the quarter.  Ratliff was grabbing rebounds for the Spurs but they could not convert on the extra possessions. At the 8:22 point of the game, it was tied at 32.

Grizzlies Demare Carroll hit the shot to momentarily take the lead for Memphis but Blair got the easy two in the lane to tie the score. But Memphis was hitting their shots to get a small lead and at the 5:45 point it was 39-35, Memphis with the lead.

The Spurs could not get anything going on either side of the court. They could not stop the Grizzlies from scoring and were not scoring themselves. The Spurs were just ice-cold from the floor. Nothing was going for the Spurs until Bogans hit a shot in the paint. But he came up hurt, tweaking his ankle. Blair hit a running shot but again the Spurs could not find their shot. But Ginobili hit a three in the remaining minute of the game. However, the Spurs could not get anything going in the quarter. At the half it was 52-42, Memphis with the lead.

At the half the Spurs shot 44% from the field, 50% from the three-point 50%, and 57% form the free-throw line. The Spurs committed nine turnovers and grabbed 20 rebounds.  They were led by Duncan with 13 points.

Third Quarter:

The Spurs started with Duncan, Jefferson, Bogans, Parker, and Blair.

The Grizzlies came out like they did in the first half, as O.J. Mayo hit a shot early on in the game.  Duncan got the bucket in the paint for the Spurs as the Spurs finally had some aggressiveness and at the 8:49 point of the game it was 54-48, Memphis with the lead.

O.J. Mayo hit a three to stop any momentum the Spurs had going but Blair got inside the paint and hit a shot over Gasol.  Grizzlies’ Mike Conley then hit a corner three for Memphis and in the next possession, Tony Parker turned the ball over.  Duncan hit a bank shot to keep the Spurs within ten points.  But at the 4:52 point of the quarter it was 64-52, Grizzlies with the lead.

Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay then hit a shot in the paint as Memphis took its largest lead of the night at 14 points.  Duncan was doing his best to get things going for the Spurs as he picked up the foul and the “and 1” on Marc Gasol. He did not make the free-throw.  Manu hit a three for the Spurs.  Nothing was going for the Spurs again! 12 turnovers for the Spurs led to 21 points for the Grizzlies in the game so far.  Mason hit a long two to cut the Grizzlies lead to eight but O.J. Mayo answered right back for Memphis.  At the end of three quarters it was 75-65, Grizzlies with the lead.

After three quarters the Spurs shot 48% from the field, 46% from the three-point line and 50% from the free-throw line.  They grabbed 27 rebounds but the Grizzlies grabbed 37.  They committed 12 turnovers.  Spurs were led by Duncan with 23 points.

Fourth Quarter:

The Spurs started with Ginobili, Hill, Ratliff, Mason and Mahinmi.

The Grizzlies started things off with a basket by Tinsley.  Great effort by the Spurs as Manu stole the ball but again they could not convert on the extra possessions.  The Spurs could not buy a bucket early on in the quarter.  Mason then got a steal for an dunk but at the 9:11 point it was 77-68, Grizzlies with the lead.

The Spurs continued to be cold from the floor while everything was dropping for the Grizzlies.  Turnovers continued to be an issue for the Spurs as well as getting out boarded. At the 3:39 point it was 85-76, Grizzlies with the lead.

Mason hit a long two for the Spurs and Bogans hit a lay up to cut the Memphis lead to five. Mason then hit a huge three for the Spurs and at the 1:55 point it was 85-83, Memphis with the lead. The Spurs went on an 11-0 run to cut the Memphis lead.

Duncan then got a huge block on Zach Randolph but on the offensive end could not get the ball in the basket.  With 41.4 seconds left in the game, Mason hit a long two to cut the Grizzlies lead to 87-86.  On the other end, after a scramble for the rebound, Duncan grabbed the ball but Zach Randolph stole the ball from Duncan which led to George Hill fouling Randolph sending him to the line where he hits both free-throws.  After a Spurs timeout, the Spurs called the play for Mason and he bricked the corner three.  After Bogans missed another three, it was over for the Spurs. Grizzlies made their free-throws, ball game.

Final score Grizzlies 92, Spurs 86.  Spurs drop to 24-15 for the season and will next play the New Orleans Hornets on Monday.

Shiny Spur: Tim Duncan
Rusty Spur: Richard Jefferson


  • Poor defense, turnovers, getting out rebounded and poor effort on both ends of the court doomed the Spurs.  Spurs committed 16 turnovers, and got 44 rebounds. Memphis grabbed 51 boards.
  • Spurs shot 41% from the field, 33% from the three-point line (7-21), and 58% form the free-throw line.
  • The second quarter was something to forget as they only scored 15 points.
  • Duncan was getting things done for the Spurs as he finished with 23 points and eight rebounds. Jefferson on the other hand had a terrible night finishing with three points and going 0-6.
  • Antonio McDyess did not play tonight due to neck spasms.  Parker fell hard during the game and sat out most of the fourth quarter.
  • Spurs bench finished with 35 points led by Mason’s 17 points.