Spurs stars rest after clobbering cold Grizzlies

No way through for Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph (centre), as he is surrounded by San Antonio Spurs' (clockwise from left) Kyle Anderson, Pau Gasol and Danny Green during their Game One clash in the NBA Western Conference play-offs. The Grizzlies
No way through for Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph (centre), as he is surrounded by San Antonio Spurs' (clockwise from left) Kyle Anderson, Pau Gasol and Danny Green during their Game One clash in the NBA Western Conference play-offs. The Grizzlies went cold in the second half, as the Spurs pulled away to a big victory.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

SAN ANTONIO (Texas) • Kawhi Leonard matched his career play-off high with 32 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter as the San Antonio Spurs used a big third quarter to forge a 111-82 National Basketball Association (NBA) win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game One of the Western Conference play-off series.

Game Two of the best-of-seven first-round series is today in San Antonio.

The Spurs led 74-64 with 1min 53sec to play in the third quarter but closed the quarter on a 10-0 run and added the first nine points of the fourth quarter to build a 93-64 advantage.

During that stretch, Memphis missed nine straight shots and committed three turnovers.

The Spurs rested their starters for the entire fourth quarter, which could be a huge advantage in a series that is expected to be a physical one between two grind-it-out teams.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and Tony Parker hit 18, as the Spurs reached 100 points for the first time in five games against the Grizzlies this season.

San Antonio outshot the Grizzlies 53.2 per cent to 39.2 per cent from the field and hit 10 of 19 three-point shots (52.6 per cent).

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 32 points, including 25 in the first half. Mike Conley added 13 points, but did not score in the second half.

Andrew Harrison (10 points) hit Memphis' only three-pointer after halftime as the Grizzlies went one of 10 from beyond the arc in the second half.

In Los Angeles, the loss of Rudy Gobert provided inspiration for the Utah Jazz, with team-mate Joe Johnson channelling it into a game-winning shot.

Johnson's runner in the lane as time expired lifted the Jazz to a 97-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game One of the Western Conference play-offs on Saturday at Staples Centre.

Johnson scored a team-high 21 points off the bench for the Jazz, who lost Gobert less than 20 seconds into the game after he suffered a sprained left knee.

"A lot of people were probably counting us out when (Gobert) went down, but man, we stuck together, fought hard for 48 minutes," said Johnson. "We had ups and downs, but at the end of the day we came out with a win."

Gordon Hayward contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds, George Hill added 16 points and Derrick Favors chipped in 15 points for Utah.

Game Two is tomorrow at Staples Centre.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs stars rest after clobbering cold Grizzlies'. Print Edition | Subscribe