Spurs down depleted Grizzlies, guaranteed a top two finish


The San Antonio Spurs know the most important thing going into the postseason is the health of their players. That is why Head Coach Gregg Popovich will be resting his star players as the season winds down. He took that step as his team survived a scare to remain perfect at home.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as he led the Spurs to a 110-104 victory over the depleted Memphis Grizzlies at the AT&T Center on Friday night.

Tony Parker added 14 points and both Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin chipped in 13 for San Antonio, who have won 46 consecutive regular-season games at home, dating back to last season. However, don’t mention that to the guys on the team.

“Couldn’t care less,” Ginobili said. “It’s great that we are defending our home court, but it counts in May, or late-April or June.”

San Antonio was without Danny Green, Patty Mills, and Boris Diaw as Popovich decided to give them the night off. Kawhi Leonard missed the game with a quad injury he suffered in the previous game against Miami.

Memphis (41-32) was dealing with injuries of their own. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph both were out with injuries along with other key players. The Grizzlies were led by JaMychal Green’s 20 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Matt Barnes added 14 points for Memphis, who are trying to stay in the Western Conference top five, despite injuries.

San Antonio outscored Memphis 37-23 in the opening quarter, with Aldridge scoring 17 of his game-high 32 in the first quarter. The Silver and Black outscored Memphis 54-46 in the paint without Gasol and Randolph to protect.

“It’s the Spurs, that’s all you need to say,” Green said. “You’ve got to come ready against them.”

The Spurs are now 61-11 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night when they travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder at 7 p.m. inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

About Stephen Anderson

Stephen serves as an editor or writer at several Project Spurs Network sites, including Project Spurs, Stars Hoops, Rampage Central and Red Black 90. He is studying at the University of the Incarnate Word and brings his unique writing style from Minute By Minute Sports. He also is a staff writer for UK entertainment website Reality Box. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@imsteveanderson) for all the latest news on San Antonio area sports.