The San Antonio Spurs went into Memphis determined to get a “must win” at all costs. For 24-minutes they played with this mentality, the other 24-minutes led to a 104 to 86 Grizzlies win and left the Spurs on the verge of elimination.
“We played 24 minutes, that’s the difference,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after the loss.
The scapegoat in the series had been point guard Tony Parker. Parker responded by scoring eight of the Spurs first 16 points early in the first quarter.
Spurs fans and media personalities had been waiting to see how forward Tiago Splitter would fare against the Grizzlies front line. They got their chance to see him in action as he entered the series for the first time with 2:37 left in the first quarter.
In a little more than two minutes of playing time, Splitter made his mark with two points and one rebound. The Spurs led the Grizzlies 26 to 21 after the first quarter. The Spurs ended the first quarter with five turn over’s. Remember that word “turnovers”. You’ll understand in a bit.
Grizzlies point guard Greivis Vasquez scored seven points quickly off the bench as he helped the Grizzlies with a 9-2 run. The Spurs lost a seven-point lead in the sequence with 9:13 remaining in the second quarter.
After exchanging leads, the Spurs went into halftime with a 50 to 48 lead. Little did they know, it would be their last of the game? Parker bounced back with 19pts (7-7 FG) at halftime.
In his first half, Splitter had six points and four rebounds. The Spurs added three turnovers in the second quarter. Their defense was able to hold Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to a combined 13-points.
Then came the second half.
The Grizzlies opened the second half with a 14-0 run as they took a commanding 62 to 50 lead. The Spurs helped fuel that run by turning the ball over three times in the run.no comments