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Postgame Report: Grizzlies Snap Skid, Subdue Spurs 96-86
The Memphis Grizzlies topped the San Antonio Spurs, 96-86, on Wednesday night in FedExForum. The Grizzlies improved to 19-22 on the season and are now 11-9 at home. The win broke Memphis’ six-game losing streak, and the Spurs dropped to 24-18 on the year.
Memphis forced San Antonio into 15 turnovers, scoring 20 points off the Spurs miscues. The Spurs entered tonight averaging the fewest turnovers per game (12.0) in the league. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies turned the ball over nine times, leading to only six points for San Antonio.
Marc Gasol recorded his 15th double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Mike Conley finished with 15 points and six assists. Conley has now scored in double-digits in 28 of his last 30 games. Jaren Jackson Jr. chipped in with 12 points. JaMychal Green supplied a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 boards. Green now has three double-doubles on the year. Shelvin Mack added 10 points and a game-high seven assists off the bench.
Memphis shot 37-for-90 (.411) from the floor in the game despite only shooting 8-for-33 (.242) from three-point range. San Antonio went 30-for-83 (.361) from the field and 11-for-27 (.407) from three. The Grizzlies doubled up the Spurs in the paint, outscoring them 48-24. Memphis, who entered tonight ranked in the top six in the NBA in blocks (6.0 per game) and steals (8.8 per game) recorded eight blocks and six steals tonight. The Spurs’ 86 points were the fewest points they have scored this season, and Memphis held its league-leading eighth opponent under 90 points.
Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli both led San Antonio with 14 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Patty Mills also scored 13 points, coming off the bench. Derrick White finished with 12 points. Former Grizzlies big man Pau Gasol had seven points and 12 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan (nine points) was held to single-digit scoring for the second time this season.
The Grizzlies’ defense stayed solid in the fourth quarter, limiting the Spurs to 7-of-17 (.412) shooting and forcing four turnovers (four steals). Anderson came up big in particular, blocking a pair of shots and snagging a steal during the period. A Belinelli three-pointer at the 9:11 mark brought San Antonio to within four, at 76-72, but the Grizzlies didn’t commit a turnover in the quarter to hang on to the lead and secure the win.
The third quarter saw an uptick in scoring, with both teams shooting over 50 percent in the period. The Spurs shot 4-for-7 (.571) from three-point range while the Grizzlies only went 1-for-7 (.143) in the third. Memphis outscored San Antonio 18-4 in the paint during the quarter to maintain a 72-64 lead.
The Grizzlies’ offense was inconsistent in the first half, shooting 16-for-46 (.348) from the field, but the defense was clicking as they held the Spurs to just 13-for-47 (.277). Memphis turned the ball over six times, but didn’t allow any points off of them, while San Antonio committed nine in the half, leading to nine points for Memphis. The Grizzlies blocked six shots in the half. Gasol reached his double-double before the break to help the Grizzlies lead 42-31 at half. The Spurs’ 31 first half points were a season-low by an opponent.
Neither team shot particularly well to start the game, with Memphis going 8-of-21 (.381) and San Antonio shooting 7-of-25 (.280) in the first quarter. The Grizzlies defense forced the Spurs into six turnovers during the period. Gasol scored 10 points and pulled down six boards in the first to help the Grizzlies lead 22-18.
Memphis opened the second quarter with an 11-4 run over 5:38 (11:45 to 6:07) to take a double-digit lead at 33-22. The Grizzlies only shot 8-for-25 (1-9 3P) in the quarter, but the defense was up to the task, holding the Spurs to just 13 points on 6-for-22 (1-4 3P) shooting and blocking four shots in the quarter to build a 41-31 halftime lead. San Antonio’s 13 points were the fewest in any second quarter by an opponent this season.
The Grizzlies head southeast for an afternoon matinee with the Miami Heat on Saturday, January 12 in AmericanAirlines Arena at 4 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN to follow the action.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2018-19 Season Tickets or 10-Game Flex Packs can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com/tickets. Single Game Tickets are also available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. For more information on the Grizzlies, visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram (@memgrizz).
On the key to winning against the Spurs:I think the defensive intensity that we started with was great. You think about some of the shots that we blocked from guys that were out of position, and saved possessions. We were able to scramble and came up with defensive rebounds and go. That sense of urgency is the way we have to play every single night. I thought from the beginning the guys pointed their message of how hard they were going to play and compete on the defensive end of the floor.
On having the same mindset for the next game:I think it begins on where our focus is. Today was fun. We’ll enjoy, but it’s over. Saturday when we show up, it is what’s our responsibility right now. What’s your assignment, coverage, and communication? The team that normally does that correctly is the team that normally wins. That’s what we have to stay focus at, and that’s what has to be our priority.
On the defense against the Spurs:I think it was our focus. We didn’t focus on LaMarcus Aldridge’s scoring. That play was over, so we focus on the next play. Everybody carried out their assignment. We came down defensively. We put them in tough position, and he’s a heck of a player and made some tough shots. Once you start taking the weight of what’s happened before off your shoulders, that possession doesn’t have that much more pressure than the five or six games previous. All you can do is worried about the moment that you are in and carry out that assignment. We’ve been preaching that to the guys, and it showed.
On breaking the losing streak:It felt good. A really good, consistent effort. We made some shots and they made some shots as well, but we were able to control the rhythm of the game and get away with a really important win, I think, for our confidence and everyone’s confidence in the city. Now, we have to keep it rolling.
On if he was trying to be more aggressive tonight:Yeah, I was trying to be a little more aggressive obviously, and stay aggressive. It wasn’t just where I had one quarter that I was aggressive, I’ve got to build on it again and create those habits for the team. Instead of trying to get other people involved, I’m looking more for my shot and out of that. For myself, I’m being a little more aggressive.
On playing against his brother Pau:As you get older, you get to enjoy it more. Early on in my years, I was a little too emotional playing against him. Now, you get to enjoy it more and embrace it more. I got to kick his [butt], which is even better.
On having fun tonight:We were able to take punches. We took a couple of punches. Obviously not really hard punches, but we took some. We were able to… instead of taking three or four in a row, we took two. We got back to what we wanted to do defensively. We were more consistent and more positive as well. Obviously, there’s that sense of urgency and that little bit of anger tonight. All those are good things.
- Memphis took a 2-1 lead in the season series with San Antonio.
- San Antonio’s 31 first half points were a season-low by a Memphis opponent.
- Marc Gasol recorded his 15th double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
- Mike Conley finished with 15 points and six assists.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. chipped in with 12 points. Jackson has scored 12-plus points in five consecutive contests.
- JaMychal Green supplied a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 boards. Green now has three double-doubles on the year.
- Shelvin Mack added 10 points and a game-high seven assists off the bench.
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