Conley and Grizzlies slip by stumbling Spurs
Apr 1, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies power forward Darrell Arthur (00) during the game at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs entered the night trying to get back on track after a tough loss the previous night against the short handed Miami Heat. Earlier in the day, the news for the Spurs continued on the downward trend with the news Manu Ginobili would be sidelined for 3 to 4 weeks. Meaning, most likely missing until the middle of the first round of the playoffs. It was also announced that Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan had not made the trip due to left knee soreness for each.
The Grizzlies on the other hand had not been tearing up the league either as they were 5-5 in their last 10 games. However, they had won 12 home games in a row, and the now “Grindhouse” has become one of the more formidable home advantages in the NBA. In the early going the Spurs struggled missing their first 6 shots, 3 of them to Boris Diaw who was shockingly aggressive on the offensive end. However once they gained their footing the Spurs started showing signs of offensive life with the ball moving around the court crisply.
On the defensive end things were even better as the Spurs were forcing the tandem of Gasol and Randolph into miss after miss. After it was all said and done despite the bad start, it was a tie ball game after 1 quarter and a 7 point lead into halftime. However in the second half the Grizzlies buckled down and pounded the ball inside with Gasol and Randolph. Tiago Splitter encountered foul trouble and Diaw was overmatched, and Dejuan Blair and Matt Bonner didn’t fare much better either. After all that however, the Spurs pushed their lead to as much as 11 in the 3rd and were seemingly scoring at will on the Grizzlie’s tough defense. Stephen Jackson was turning back the clock with tough drives to the hoop along with making clutch 3 point baskets. Dejuan Blair shocked and amazed with his spirited play, along with making superb passes left and right.
Despite the Spurs best efforts the Grizzlies proved too tough, as Mike Conley beat Danny Green to the hoop for an easy layup to give them the lead for good with .6 seconds remaining. Tony Parker‘s jump shot came after the buzzer but bounced away harmlessly and the Spurs have found themselves with consecutive losses for the first time since December.
The Spurs next game is Wednesday against the Orlando Magic at 7:30 at the AT&T Center.
Tony Parker bounced back after a tough night against the Miami Heat with a very good outing. Parker dropped in 25 points and handed out 4 assists. In the third quarter Parker carried the Spurs to their largest lead hitting jumper after jumper. When he came back in the 4th quarter the Grizzlies trapped hard, however he escaped many times to swing the ball around and results however were mixed.It was a great effort and honestly the best thing other than he came away healthy, was that he ran and moved smoothly. Against Miami he showed signs of gimpyness and loss of agility.
Dejuan Blair. Wow, where did that performance come from? 6 points 4 rebounds 4 assists, and the numbers don’t do justice to how well Dejuan played. He moved the ball well, played the Grizzlie’s pick and roll offense even better poking balls away from Bayless and Conley. The high light play of the game came from a pick and roll with Parker when he received the ball then quickly passed back out to the corner for a Matt Bonner three pointer. Its been a tough year for Dejuan as he’s been the defacto 12th man and has gotten little to no time. Tonight however, he was a true professional and played quite well.
The Spurs bench seemed to reclaim a little bit of their title as best bench in the west, as the bench went 13 of 20 for 24 points. The ball movement showed by the bench was fantastic as the ball hardly stayed in once place and open shots were had by quite a few. Gary Neal had an up and down night, mostly good, some bad, including leaving Mike Conley open to tie the ball game at 90.Commendable effort, everything was left on the floor, and the bench can build off of this in film tomorrow and know, that’s how the offense on this team is supposed to work.
The goat of the night is easily again for the second night in a row, Danny Green. Green went 1 of 6 for 3 points. Green in his last two games is now 5 of 20, only lending credence to his nickname Icy Hot.Green had some pointed words on twitter after the game saying quote, “Time to recharge the batteries, shut down the engine, and look at myself in the mirror.” Or you could just learn to make a layup Danny.