The nightmarish Western Conference Finals have ended for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs took control from the jump, and beat the Grizzlies by seven points on Monday night, 93-86. With the win, San Antonio secured their fifth NBA Finals appearance, first in the last six years.
San Antonio’s sharing and execution on offense let the Spurs rack up 23 assists on 39 field goals, thanks to their 51% field goal shooting, which pales in comparison to the 23% shooting from three. Tony Parker led the way for the Spurs with 37 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter. Tim Duncan added 15 points and eight rebounds for the silver and black.
On the opposite side, Quincy Pondexter led the Grizzlies with 22 points in his 34 minutes of action off the bench. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the struggles of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who had 13 and 14 points respectively, on a combined 36% shooting.
After such an abysmal start to Game 3, the Spurs came out firing in Game 4. Shooting 52% and holding the Grizzlies 29% from the field, the Spurs took a comfortable 24-14 lead after 12 minutes. But Memphis wouldn’t stay down long, cutting the deficit to six points at halftime.
Even with the Spurs lead being single-digits for most of the game, San Antonio had complete control. Every Memphis run was answered with a run by the Spurs. And when it came time for someone to step up, after the Grizzlies had cut the deficit to three points with 48 seconds left, it was Tony Parker who nailed a pair of clutch free throws to ice the game.
Lionel Hollins described Tony Parker best after Game 4 by saying, “He was outstanding the whole series.” And that’s just some of the praise players, coaches and analysts alike are bestowing upon the Spurs.
But don’t start celebrating yet. We’ve only completed three-fourths of the journey to another championship. And with the next nine days off, San Antonio will have plenty of time to rest, heal and prepare for either Miami or Indiana.
Savor what this team has accomplished so far. But we are all far from satisfied.
12 games down, four more to the ultimate goal. See you June 6th. Go Spurs Go.
Tweet of the Night:
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili are 1st trio on a team other than Celtics or Lakers to reach NBA Finals 4 times together @eliassports
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 28, 2013