Spurs tame Grizzlies in gritty win

SAN ANTONIO (Texas) • National Basketball Association league games between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies are usually more grit than gold, and the Spurs' 92-82 victory over the Grizzlies on Saturday was the latest in that vein of battles not recommended for the faint of heart.

Forward Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and guard Tony Parker had 18, all in the first half, as San Antonio remained unbeaten at home.

The Spurs (10-3) led just 86-80 in the final minute but got back-to-back running floaters from forward Tim Duncan and a three-point dagger from Leonard with 16 seconds remaining, to clinch their sixth win of the season at the AT&T Centre.

The victory snapped Memphis' season-best four-game winning streak.

"Memphis played well in the fourth quarter to bring the lead back to single digits," Leonard said. "We just kept fighting on the defensive end and made some good plays down the stretch."

The two teams combined for 35 turnovers, 18 for the Spurs.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich refused to use the excuse that his side are still trying to figure out their new line-up and rotation for its ragged, if winning, effort.

"No, that was a sign of a team playing poorly," Popovich said.

Guard Manu Ginobili, back in the line-up after a two-game absence with a sore hip, added 15 points for San Antonio. Duncan scored 10 points, eight in the fourth quarter, with 10 rebounds.

The Grizzlies (7-7) got 16 points from guard Mike Conley. Memphis reserve guard Courtney Lee scored 15 points and reserve forward Matt Barnes had 10 points.

"You have to get what you're trying to get offensively and right now we are a little scattered," Grizzlies coach David Joerger said. "We could be better, and not turn the basketball over.

"Tonight San Antonio had too many times where they just had a straight line (to the basket) - walk in, shoot, lay-up."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Spurs tame Grizzlies in gritty win'. Print Edition | Subscribe