MEM@SAS: Mike Conley postgame 1.5.19
MEM@SAS: playlist 1.5.19
Postgame Report: Offensive Struggles Sink Grizzlies, Lose to Spurs 108-88
The Memphis Grizzlies were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs, 108-88, on Saturday night at AT&T Center. The Grizzlies, who have lost five games in a row, drop to 18-21 on the season and are now 8-12 on the road. The Spurs improved to 23-17 on the year and are now 17-5 at home, giving them the best home record in the Western Conference.
The Grizzlies turned the ball over a season-high 21 times in the game, which the Spurs converted into 26 points. San Antonio had 17 giveaways, leading to 14 points for Memphis. Both teams entered the game ranked in the top 5 in the NBA in fewest turnovers per game, as the Spurs ranked second with 12.0 per game and the Grizzlies in fifth, averaging 12.8.
Mike Conley led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-12 (.583) shooting. Conley has now reached 20 points in 21 games this year. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Jackson also recorded four steals, tying a career-high. Dillon Brooks reached double figures for the fifth time this season, scoring 15 points. Brooks scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol pulled down a game-high 11 boards to go with six points and six assists.
Memphis shot just 31-for-82 (.378) in the game while San Antonio went 36-for-73 (.493) from the floor. The Grizzlies were 11-of-28 (.393) from three-point range and held the Spurs to 7-of-22 (.318) treys. The Spurs worked their way inside, outscoring the Grizzlies 42-30 in the paint.
Derrick White led the Spurs with 19 points on 8-of-9 (.889) shooting. It’s the first time this year that White has led San Antonio in scoring. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 18 points and seven assists. Patty Mills chipped in with 15 points off the bench. DeMar DeRozan nearly had a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Jakob Poeltl had 11 points, shooting a perfect 5-for-5.
The Grizzlies showed some fight in the fourth quarter, opened the period with a 14-2 run to trim the Spurs lead to 90-80 with 7:38 remaining. San Antonio only shot 5-for-16 (.313) in the quarter, while Memphis went 9-for-21 (.429). A Jevon Carter three with 5:07 left in the game cut the score to single-digits at 95-86, but the Spurs made 9-of-10 (.900) free throws throughout the quarter to maintain their lead.
Memphis came out of halftime improved on offense, going 8-for-16 (.500) from the field in the third quarter and assisting on six of their baskets. San Antonio continued to excel though, shooting 9-for-17 (.529) during the period. The Grizzlies continued to mishandle the ball, turning it over six times as the Spurs ended the quarter leading 88-66.
Despite shooting an efficient 5-of-10 (.500) from three-point range, the Grizzlies made only 14-of-45 (.311) field goals overall throughout the first half, the lowest percentage in a first half this year. The Spurs also went 5-for-10 from three, but shot 22-for-40 (.550) from the floor in the half. San Antonio had success cutting through the lane in the half, outscoring Memphis 24-14 in the paint. Conley scored 17 points, but no other player had more than six before intermission.
The Grizzlies didn’t shoot well to open the game, going 9-for-25 (.360) in the first quarter, but they were able to connect on 4-of-6 (.667) threes. The Spurs shot 9-for-18 (.500) from the floor and 2-for-6 (.333) from long range in the period. Conley was rolling early, dropped 10 points (2-3 3P) in the quarter. Memphis committed five turnovers during the opening quarter while San Antonio had seven.
The second quarter was a struggle offensively for Memphis, shooting just 5-for-20 (.250) from the field. San Antonio continued to roll, making 13-of-22 (.591) shot. The Grizzlies continued to mishandle the ball, turning the ball over six times which led to 11 Spurs points. Mills had 12 points on a perfect 4-for-4 (2-2 3P) shooting in the period. The Spurs went on a 15-3 run over 4:35 (10:33 to 5:58) and outscored the Grizzlies 37-19 during the quarter, to help take a 64-44 lead into halftime. That run would give the Spurs the lead for the rest of the game.
The Grizzlies will travel to face another divisional foe on Monday, January 7 when they challenge the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:00 p.m. CT in Smoothie King Center. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN to follow the action.
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On trying to overcome a tough quarter...When you are playing a team as good as the Spurs, it’s hard. But look at the third and fourth quarter, and the first quarter, and how we competed and defended. But, they have guys up and down their roster that can make shots and they make you pay for mistakes. They’ve a great combination of speed and shooting. You watch the speed at which those guys come off of screens, how they continue to move and then the final result when they’re able to catch and shoot it. They put a ton of pressure on you all the time. You can’t afford to make mistakes. But as you said, for three quarters I thought our guys got after it. We’ve just got to shore that up moving forward.
On the challenge of overcoming 21 team turnovers...It’s difficult. When you’re playing a team that is this good, anytime you lose or miss out on possessions with opportunities for shots, it’s hard to overcome. And for us, we’re not normally a high-turnover team, but they were active with their hands. Some of the decisions we made we could’ve been more certain with – some of the passes and spacing. But, give them credit for the job that they did.
On what it meant for the younger guys on the roster to get playing time...Yeah, it’s a good opportunity for them. You know, again, you look at the way they competed and the scores of those quarters, how they got after it and stayed within touching distance – I mean we made a run at them. We had an opportunity to cut it down to 11, we cut it to 10 one time, but you know it was good to see those guys play together and figure each other out.
On how tonight’s game slipped away from the Grizzlies...I thought in the third quarter they came out and got a couple steals, got a couple loose balls, and offensive rebounds, and extra possessions, which turned into three pointers or and-ones, or dunks. [It created] situations that got the crowd involved, which for us we can’t afford to on the road against a very good team like this. We gave ourselves an opportunity. I thought offensively we did a good job moving it. Guys were getting good looks and early in transition. Some of them just didn’t connect when we needed them to. I thought our second unit of guys down the stretch really fought and gave ourselves a chance there at the end. I’m proud of those guys. We also have to take responsibility and be better as individuals.
On the Spurs consistency and chemistry on the court, even with new players...It does not matter who is playing for them. It feels like if they put anybody in their uniform, they run that system about as good as anybody, no matter who it is. It’s very tough. I felt like Derrick White played well tonight, [Bryn] Forbes played well, Patty [Mills] always plays well. It doesn’t matter. Some nights DeMar [DeRozan] doesn’t need to be the guy, LaMarcus [Aldridge] doesn’t need to be the guy. They’ve got a great scheme there and they do it the best in the league.
On the Spurs figuring things out in their last 15 games...They’re just relentless. They’ve got high character guys over there. They didn’t get off to a good start, but they stuck with it as a team and they’re obviously doing well right now, so that’s going to pay off. They’re good players and they just have to figure it out. It’s a tough place to play.
On the Spurs player development...They just put that trust in you. You’re watching great guys while you’ve got to sit your time out. You’re watching guys like Manu [Ginobili] and Kawhi [Leonard], things like that. So, when you get out there you’ve kind of got the recipe. You’ve just got to go out there and put it together. It makes me very happy to see Bryn [Forbes] and D. (Derrick) White playing well. Those are my guys right there.
- Mike Conley led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-12 (.583) shooting.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
- Dillon Brooks reached double figures for the fifth time this season, scoring 15 points.
- Marc Gasol pulled down a game-high 11 boards to go with six points and six assists.
- Derrick White led the Spurs with 19 points on 8-of-9 (.889) shooting.
- LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 18 points and seven assists.
- Jakob Poeltl had 11 points, shooting a perfect 5-for-5.
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