Post Up: San Antonio Smooth
The Spurs handle the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the WCF.
Spurs 105, Grizzlies 83 (Spurs lead series 1-0)
The San Antonio Spurs took a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a solid effort against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.
Leading the way for the Spurs was Tony Parker, who totaled 20 points and 9 assists in 33 minutes. Danny Green added 16 points and 4 rebounds hitting 6-of-9 shots from the field. Kawhi Leonard came up big for San Antonio with 18 points, shooting 4-for-5 from three-point range.
The Grizzlies are playing in their first Western Conference Finals series in franchise history, and it showed. San Antonio started off the game hot, heading into the third quarter with a 14-point advantage.
Memphis began to battle back with a run of their own in the third, but the Spurs, and their barrage of bombs from downtown, quickly thwarted any chance of the Grizzlies coming back. San Antonio ended the game with a franchise record 14 field goals from beyond the arc, while the Grizzlies mustered just five for the game—a discrepancy that told the tale of this game.
“It was just one of those games,” said Parker via NBA.com when asked about the Spurs’ ability to hit from downtown. “Ball movement was great tonight and we’ll try to do the same thing in Game 2. But I’m sure they’re going to make some adjustments. We know that’s not going to happen every game.”
Second year forward Quincy Pondexter led the way for Memphis coming off the bench with 17 points. Mike Conley tallied 14 points (5-12 shooting) and 8 assists. Marc Gasol was the third and final member of the Grizzlies to score in double-digits with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
Zach Randolph had a bad outing offensively for the Grizzlies, with his only two points coming in the fourth quarter. Randolph’s 1-for-8 shooting was his worst ever in a Playoff game when he’s played over 10 minutes.
“A lot of my shots were off,” explained Randolph. “I’ve been double-teamed the whole season. I didn’t get as good a look as I wanted to. It was just the rhythm of the game. I’ve got to be better, as I told my teammates. I’ve got to be better for them.”
For Memphis to have a chance in this series, they’ll need to be much more effective offensively and defensively. It’s safe to say that the team won’t be consistently giving up 14 threes per game and Randolph won’t be going so cold from the field. On average, the Grizzlies have let up six threes a game in the postseason this year, while Randolph has averaged over 15 points on better than 50 percent shooting.
“Zach [Randolph] and Marc [Gasol] are a heck of a combination,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. “Everything they do is real difficult to stick with, and you’ve got to have a mindset to do it on every down. I thought we did the best job we could do.”
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Popovich has a 19-3 (.864) all-time record in best-of-seven playoff series when his team wins Game 1. He ranks behind Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach among head coaches with 15 years of postseason experience.—Daniel Friedman
Game 2 will be played on Tuesday night in the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX with tip-off at 9 p.m. EST.
Quotes from this article were pulled from NBA.com’s live stream of each team’s post game press conferences.