Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Sunday, December 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 12th
Game 4: Saturday, April 13th

Spurs 83


    Coverage: KRRT

    6:00 PM ET, December 30, 2001

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 15 29 16 2383
    MEM 18 23 14 2479

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: T. Duncan 27 Pts, 18 Reb, 4 Ast, 7 Blk

    Memphis: P. Gasol 24 Pts, 15 Reb, 3 Blk

    Duncan, Robinson key Spurs' inside game

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis found out that San Antonio's strength still is in its inside game.

    Steve Smith drives to the basket with Pau Gasol in pursuit.

    Tim Duncan scored 27 points and David Robinson added 21 as the Spurs held off a Memphis rally Sunday night and defeated the Grizzlies 83-79.

    Duncan had 18 rebounds and Robinson grabbed 12 boards as the Spurs inside strength took over.

    "It was a great game both ways," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We were very fortunate to come out the way we did. They're not easy. They are competitive, and they are difficult to play."

    Memphis cut the San Antonio lead to 74-72 with about two minutes to play when Robinson took over, scoring three straight San Antonio baskets, including a pair of dunks to build the margin to 80-74.

    "We just took one of the top teams in the league down to the wire," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "I thought we could win, but we turned it over twice after we made two big stops. We were in position, but didn't pull it out."

    The win snapped a three-game losing streak for San Antonio and marked the Spurs' 16th straight victory over the Grizzlies. That is the Spurs longest streak against an NBA opponent.

    Pau Gasol led Memphis with 24 points and 15 rebounds, which tied his career high. Jason Williams added 20 points and eight assists, while Shane Battier scored 14 for Memphis.

    Gasol said it was a challenge to face a pair of 7-footers like Duncan and Robinson, but he tried to be aggressive under the basket.

    "They're real big and real strong," Gasol said, "and maybe a little intimidating. We weren't scared of them.

    "It's a bigger challenge when you play against players that have a name. Tim Duncan is an All-Star. David Robinson has been an All-Star and could be again. I tried to go straight at them and not be afraid. Just score on them and go to the hole."

    San Antonio led 44-41 at the break behind Duncan's 13 points and 11 from Robinson. Bruce Bowen scored nine of his 13 points in the half as all but 11 of the Spurs' first-half points came from the frontcourt starters.

    The Spurs led despite missing 10 of 13 free throws, including five misses in six attempts by Duncan.

    The Grizzlies got 10 points and six assists from Williams in the half, and Memphis led by as many as seven in the second.

    The Spurs opened the second half with eight straight points as Memphis missed its first five shots.

    Every time the Grizzlies got close, the Spurs went to Duncan, who had 10 points in the third quarter, and helped San Antonio maintain a 60-55 lead after three.

    The Spurs hit their first six shots of the fourth period to build a nine-point lead.

    Memphis, behind three straight baskets by Williams, made a run midway through the fourth, but was unable to overtake San Antonio.

    "(The Grizziles) are pretty impressive," Robinson said. "They hit big shots, showed poise and ran good plays. We, especially me and Tim, play a lot of young teams that after they get their shots blocked a few times quit playing. Those guys didn't quit playing. They kept coming at us."

    Game notes
    Grizzlies reserve point guard Brevin Knight did not play because of an injured right shoulder. ... Memphis' Rodney Buford sat out the game because of the flu. ... Williams drew a technical foul at 3:41 of the third when he thought he was fouled on a drive in the lane. Williams tried to hide his frustrations by hollering at the basket support, but official Mark Wunderlich walked the baseline in time to hear Williams colorful description of the no-call. ... Duncan's double-double marked the 24th time in 28 games he has reached the mark. ... The 83 points marked the fewest points scored by the Spurs this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 79
    FGM-FGA 35-80 (.438) 31-84 (.369)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 7-14 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 10-24 (.417) 10-16 (.625)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-48 16-48
    Assists 22 18
    Turnovers 14 17
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 9 6
    Fast Break Points 6 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 27
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 7
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 24
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3