AT&T Center — The Manu Ginobili-less San Antonio Spurs begin the 2011 postseason on the wrong foot. San Antonio is down 0-1 in the series as the Memphis Grizzlies stunned the Spurs, beating San Antonio 101 to 98 to take away home court advantage in the series.
With 1:06 remaining in the game, the Spurs held a 98 to 94 lead. Marc Gasol would get the Grizzlies closer as he made a layup to cut the Spurs’ lead by two points (98-96). Then after a Tony Parker miss, Shane Battier made a crucial three pointer with 23.9 seconds remaining to put the Grizzlies on top 99 to 96.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not thrilled about the Battier three.
“What would you like to know about it?” said Popovich after the game. “It counted for three. He caught it, he shot it, (and) he made it.”
The first points of the game came from a Marc Gasol and-1 as the Grizzlies led early.
Richard Jefferson scored the first five points for the Spurs with a 22-foot jumper and three pointer to tie the game at 5-5 with 9:40 remaining in first quarter.
Spurs forward Antonio McDyess knocked down a 17-footer and Duncan dunk gave the Spurs a 9-5 lead with 8:33 remaining in first quarter.
With 5:41 remaining, the Spurs went cold missing five shots in a row and Memphis was able to tie the game at eleven a piece.
The Spurs were forced to call timeout with 3:24 remaining as they had given up a Shane Battier three pointer and a Gasol open jump shot. They trailed the Grizzlies 16 to 20.
The first quarter ended with Spurs guard Gary Neal scoring a late driving layup, but Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo countered him with a buzzer beating three pointer.
At the end of the first quarter, the Spurs trailed Memphis 22 to 27. The Spurs shot 47% from the field but the Grizzlies shot an even higher percentage at 59%. Spurs forward Tim Duncan led with eight points but Memphis center Marc Gasol countered with nine points. With Ginobili out, Parker only scored two points on 1-6 shooting. Grizzlies guard Mike Conley ended the first with six points.
Behind the effort of DeJuan Blair coming off the bench, the Spurs outscored the Grizzlies 12-4 halfway through the second quarter. San Antonio was now in control of the lead 34 to 31.
Then with 5:10 remaining in the second, Popovich called a timeout after Neal gave up a three to Conley. The Spurs trailed Memphis 34 to 38.
Zach Randolph continued to build Memphis’ lead as he converted an and-1 to push the Grizzlies lead to seven (43-36) with 2:36 remaining in the second.
Behind a Duncan dunk, Parker free throw and Blair put back the Spurs cut into the Grizzlies 43 to 41 lead with a minute remaining.
Tim Duncan missed a 15-foot turn around jumper as the Spurs went into halftime trailing the Grizzlies 43 to 45. The Spurs held Memphis to 18-points in the quarter and put up 21 points themselves.
Duncan led the Spurs with 12 points and seven rebounds. Randolph (11 points), Gasol (11 points) and Conley (12 points) led the Grizzlies as the teams headed into halftime.
Jefferson ignited the crowd with a three pointer from the corner and a Duncan dunk gave the Spurs a 52 to 51 lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, Gary Neal connected on back-to-back threes as he helped the Spurs push their lead 70 to 64 with 3:03 remaining in the third.
At the end of the third, the Spurs led 74 to 70. The Spurs poured in 31-points while the Grizzlies scored 25. Parker (9 points), Hill (5 points) and Neal (6 points) got their perimeter game going as they each helped contributed vitally.
“I was talking to George (Hill) at halftime trying to make a conscious effort to go to the free throw line,” Parker said after the game. “That’s what we did and it worked well for us.”
After holding a 10-point lead in the third quarter, the Grizzlies cut the Spurs’ lead down to one with 10:30 remaining in the game after two Gasol free throws.
Two Randolph free throws tied the game at 78 with 9:02 remaining in the game.
With 7:31 remaining, Randolph helped the Grizzlies recapture the lead as they went ahead 81 to 80.
Two Hill free throws tied the game at 85 with 5:44 remaining.
Then with 4:02 remaining, Memphis held a 92 to 85 lead after O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen combined for a 7-0 Grizzlies run.
Jefferson would stop the bleeding by hitting a free throw and then two Parker free throws helped the Spurs cut the lead down to four (94-90) with 2:41 remaining.
Matt Bonner went on a 6-0 run by himself; by making two consecutive threes to help the Spurs take a late 98 to 96 lead with 1:28 left in the game.
After holding the four-point lead with 1:06 remaining, the Spurs would allow the Grizzlies to finish the game on a 7-0 run.
Trailing 98 to 101 with 10 seconds remaining, Jefferson missed a wide-open three pointer to send the game into overtime.
“Yeah, I was wide open.” said Jefferson. “I got a great pass from Tim (Duncan) and I just didn’t knock it down.”
After the game Jefferson discussed the loss.
“This one is tough because it’s the playoffs. That’s really it. We had an opportunity,” Jefferson said. “No one came into this thinking sweep. We came into this knowing it’s going to be a tough series, which it has been already and we look to just get better.”
The Spurs will look to even the series Wednesday night in game two. The status of All-Star guard Manu Ginobili is still set as “doubtful” until then, said Popovich before the game.
- The Grizzlies’ frontcourt of Gasol (24 points) and Randolph (25 points) combined for 49 points on 19 of 25 shooting. They also got Antonio McDyess (5 fouls) and DeJuan Blair (5 fouls) in foul trouble.
- The Grizzlies had five players score in double figures: Randolph (25), Gasol (24), Conley (15), Mayo (13), and Battier (10).
- The Spurs had six players score in double figures: Parker (20), Duncan (16), Hill (15), Jefferson (13), Bonner (12) and Neal (10).
- After only scoring five points in the first half, Tony Parker led the way with 15-points in the second half.
- The Grizzlies continued their points in the paint trend as they outscored the Spurs 40 to 32.
- The Spurs won the second chance points battle 15 to 5.
- In the open court, the Spurs had 15 fast break points to the Grizzlies 5.
- The Grizzlies shot 55% for the game and committed 16 turn overs, as opposed to the Spurs 40% shooting and 10 turn overs.