The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs 104-96 Saturday night at FedExForum, extending their winning streak to four games.
The Grizzlies now lead the season series 2-0 and are one of two teams (Los Angeles Clippers) to hold multiple victories over the Spurs this season. Memphis is also one of two teams the Spurs have yet to beat (New York Knicks).
The Grizzlies took off offensively in the first quarter, shooting 4-of-7 (.571) from three-point range while holding the Spurs to 0-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc. San Antonio, who leads the league in three-point percentage (.396), shot just 9-for-28 from beyond the arc (.320) and has shot 27.7 percent (13-47 3P) in their two games against Memphis this season.
The Grizzlies earned the win despite being outshot by the Spurs (.440 to .421). The Spurs are now 44-5 when outshooting their opponent.
The game featured 15 lead changes and was tied six times. Although the Grizzlies led throughout the fourth quarter, the Spurs kept the game close, making it difficult for Memphis to extend the lead. However, with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter (89-86), the Grizzlies went on a 9-1 run over the next 3:15 to bring the score to 98-87 and tie their largest lead of the game.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 19 points, shooting 3-of-6 from three-point range while Marc Gasol tallied 16 points and a game-high seven assists. Gasol has recorded seven-or-more assists in each of his last four games. Six Grizzlies scored in double figures, including Zach Randolph (18 points) and JaMychal Green (13 points).
Posting 10 points and three assists, Vince Carter played his 1,336th career regular season game. Carter passed Gary Payton (1,335) for 14th in NBA history in career regular season games played.
Shooting 3-of-6 from three-point range, Troy Daniels recorded eight of his 11 points in the third quarter.
Memphis scored 17 points off 15 Spurs turnovers while San Antonio only converted 10 Grizzlies turnovers into five points.
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 22 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes while LaMarcus Aldridge posted 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting.
The Grizzlies are headed to New Orleans to take on Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday, March 21 at Smoothie King Center, the beginning of a four-game road trip. Tune in at 7 p.m. CT to FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN to catch all the action.
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies held a 17-5 advantage in points off turnovers (13-0 through three quarters). Entering the game, the Spurs were leading the league in three-point percentage (.396). However, San Antonio struggled to connect the majority of the game, shooting 9-of-28 overall (.321) and 5-of-18 (.278) through the third quarter. In the two meetings this season, Memphis has held San Antonio 13-of-47 (.277) from three-point range.
Key Run of the Night
- Leading 89-86 with 5:45 remaining, the Grizzlies went on a 9-1 run over the next 3:15 to extend their lead to 11 with 2:30 left. The lead tied their largest of the game.
On the game having a playoff atmosphere
Our crowd was big time tonight. Honestly, right now where it was at, that’s the first round of the playoffs. I think both teams wanted to send a message that it’s on. I really thought our guys rose to the challenge. They are a tough out. I’ve honestly made it very clear how I feel about Coach Pop [Gregg Popovich] and what he does. To beat a team of that caliber right now is a really great win for us.
-- Coach Fizdale
On Tony Allen
We’ve shown these flashes of being this team. It’s good to see us back, to see Tony [Allen] back playing to a high level, that’s what I’m excited about. I know he didn’t like me pulling him out of the lineup, but he wasn’t playing great at the time, and I needed to shake it up. He’s responded to that in a big way and also in the locker room. I’m really happy with the way not only that he handled going to the bench, but the way he responded once I put him back in.
-- Coach Fizdale
On the three ball and guarding the three-point line
You have to. There was a time there when I went off on our team, because I heard a guy behind me (I don’t know who it was) say, ‘Hey, we got two bigs. Beat them up down low.’ I said, ‘No. Guard the three-point line.’ Twos for threes are not going to work out, and that’s that whole mindset of, ‘Yeah, we’ll just beat you up.’ That does not work anymore. You don’t just get to trade twos for threes. The three ball for us is critical. We may not outshoot people from three, but if we can just keep it close, that gives us a chance. As soon as we start thinking that all of a sudden we’re just going to go back to grinding people, bully ball… all it is is twos, and they’re coming down hitting threes. I think they had a corner three on Troy Daniels, a corner three on James [Ennis III] and then a step-back on Z-Bo [Zach Randolph], and we’re talking about ‘Let’s beat them up’. No. Guard the three-point line. I’m always fighting that mindset of, ‘Hey, let’s just go back to what it was.’ Shooting less threes and not guarding the three-point line is not a recipe for success in today’s NBA. I’m never going to budge on that. They can call me stubborn or whatever. I just know that’s going to get us out quick.
-- Coach Fizdale
On working together as a team
Sometimes you might feel like you have an okay shot, but someone may have a great shot and you’ve got to get rid of it. It gives the team confidence, it organizes the team, it gives you better defensive transition and it’s sharing the basketball. It’s giving trust, like, ‘I’m trusting you with that next shot.’ It promotes that unselfishness that is so important going into the next part of the season, especially the playoffs.
-- Marc Gasol
On shooting so many three-point shots this season
I’m taking them when I’m open. Obviously different teams are playing differently and have taken them away from the get-go, but it doesn’t matter. We’re going to find ways. Even if we don’t find ways for me to get the shot off, it opens up Mike (Conley) to drive and different guys.
-- Marc Gasol
On the game
Our mentality has changed defensively. We’re playing with a sense of urgency defensively that we haven’t played with all season long. It’s almost as if we’ve turned the switch on to play basketball. We’ve always been a tough team when we play that style of defense and being aggressive. Offensively, we’re being unselfish sharing the ball. Anybody can have big nights for us and that’s what makes us difficult to defend.
-- Mike Conley
Historically for the Grizzlies, when you make shots, you win games. That’s a good thing. When we’re defending and making shots, that’s when we’re at our best. So, we’ve got to continue to shoot with confidence. I think our ability to move the ball side to side, get guys easier looks, pass up a good look for a great one has been the key for us in these past four games.
-- Mike Conley
- The Grizzlies lead the regular season series 2-0.
- The win extends Memphis’ winning streak to four (March 13-18)… It is the first four-game winning streak for the Grizzlies since they won five straight from Dec. 1-10, 2016.
- Mike Conley scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter while also finishing with seven rebounds and six assists. Over his last four games, Conley is averaging 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game. He has led the Grizzlies in scoring in 12 of his last 16 outings.
- Marc Gasol has recorded seven-or-more assists in each of his past four games (7.8 apg). He finished with 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds tonight.
- Vince Carter (1,336 games) passed Gary Payton (1,335) for 14th in NBA history for career regular season games played. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 30 minutes.
- Zach Randolph posted 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench. He has scored 15-or-more off the bench in 27 games this season.
- Kawhi Leonard (22 points) had his 51st game with 20-or-more points this season and his third straight. He has led the Spurs in scoring on 50 occasions this season.
- LaMarcus Aldridge (21 points, nine rebounds) fell one rebound shy of his 17th double-double and recorded his 18th game of 20-or-more points this season.