Spurs win 18th straight against Grizzlies

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs probably knew they were going to find a way against the Memphis Grizzlies.

San Antonio continued its domination of the Memphis-Vancouver franchise as Steve Smith led a devastating fourth-quarter Tuesday night for a 98-84 win. The Spurs won their 18th straight game over the Grizzlies as Tim Duncan scored 23 points to lead the way, while Smith had 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs coasted to their seventh straight win.

"It was a good win for us," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Memphis has been playing well and they came in here trying to knock someone off. Our guys did a good job grinding it out and hanging in until we finally broke it."

San Antonio placed five players in double figures. Antonio
Daniels added 15, Malik Rose 13, and Tony Parker 10. Duncan added
13 rebounds.

Memphis, which has lost 10 of its last 12 games, was paced by Jason Williams' 18 points, while Pau Gasol added 17.

"This is a tough one," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "Another tough loss. I thought we played hard. We played good to a certain point, but then they made that run, when Steve Smith just went off.

"They've been good for a long time now. They've been a good
team for at least the last 18 times we've played them."

Trailing by one to open the fourth quarter, San Antonio broke
the game open with a 19-3 run to lead 85-70 on Smith's layup with
6:53 to play. Smith had 11 points in the run, including three
3-point field goals.

After San Antonio stretched the lead to 89-71 on a driving layup
by Daniels, Memphis could get no closer than 10 points as the
Grizzlies connected on only 7 of 18 field goals in the quarter.

San Antonio outscored Memphis 32-17 in the decisive fourth
quarter, which was keyed by six Grizzlies turnovers and the Spurs
connecting on 11 of 18 field goal attempts in the period.

"There was some great performances by different people," said
Duncan, who was 9-of-19 from the field. "Steve Smith came out and
gave us a heck of a boost, kind of took over the game by himself."

Memphis rookie Shane Battier said it was indicative of an experienced team.

"I think that's just a mark of a veteran playoff team," he said Battier, who was held to only four points. "They have the ability to turn it up. They just picked up the pressure. We just didn't respond well."

Trailing 48-43 at halftime, Memphis opened the third quarter
with a 24-13 spurt to take a 67-61 lead on a jump shot by Stromile
Swift. San Antonio closed the quarter with a 5-0 run, with Terry
Porter connecting on a 20-foot jump shot just before the buzzer.

San Antonio outscored the Grizzlies 29-22 in the second quarter
as Duncan led the way with 13 points.

Game notes
San Antonio improved to 43-21 with the victory . . .
With the win, San Antonio is 23-3 against the Memphis-Vancouver
franchise. ... The Spurs are 3-0 this season vs. Memphis. ...
Duncan had his 51st double-double of the season and 271st of his
career. ... The Spurs have now held 47 of the last 53 opponents
under 100 points. ... Memphis is 6-27 on the road this season.

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