The San Antonio Spurs overcame their fourth-quarter demons to close out the Grizzlies 100-98 behind Tony Parker’s 23 points.
Following a string of losses that have cast the San Antonio Spurs’ postseason hopes in doubt, San Antonio needed to put on a strong showing against the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, who were in the midst of a 13-game losing streak going into Monday night’s game.
After missing the previous game with a sprained ankle, LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the starting lineup against the Grizzlies. It was Tony Parker, however, who shined early. Parker entered for Dejounte Murray only three minutes into the game, and scored 11 points in the quarter. San Antonio trailed by two heading into the second quarter, but was able to take the lead on a Danny Green three-pointer. The Grizzlies responded with a 6-0 run of their own. The Spurs keep the score close, and Green hit another three-pointer as time expired to give the Spurs a 47-45 lead going into halftime.
A scoring drought by San Antonio in the third quarter allowed Memphis to capture a seven-point lead at 66-59. San Antonio rallied again thanks in part to another timely three-pointer by Green and an electric alley-oop dunk by Davis Bertans. In the fourth quarter, the momentum started to swing back in the Spurs favor. Parker continued to shred the Grizzlies defense, scoring eight straight as part of a Spurs 11-2 run to put the Spurs up 98-89. The Grizzlies went on a 7-1 run to cut the lead to three, and a Spurs turnover on the inbounds pass from Kyle Anderson gave the Grizzlies an opportunity to tie the game with a three-pointer. Marc Gasol launched a desperation three-pointer which was off the mark, and Aldridge grabbed the rebound while getting fouled. He sank both free throws to put the Spurs up 100-98. The Grizzlies again inbounded the ball to Gasol, who fired another off-target two-pointer at the buzzer.
Parker led the Silver and Black with 23 points and 4 assists in the victory. Bertans added 17, and Green chipped in an additional 14 including several key three-pointers. For the Grizzlies, Gasol matched Parker’s 23 and grabbed an additional 10 rebounds. Dillon Brooks added 21, and JaMychal Green notched a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
The Spurs will try to keep their momentum in a marquee matchup with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. Gametime is at 9:30 p.m. CST.