SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan didn't wait until the final buzzer
to do his damage against winless Memphis.
The NBA's reigning MVP scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds
in the third quarter to help the Spurs break open a close game as
San Antonio defeated Memphis 95-86 Friday night.
San Antonio opened the second half with a 15-1 run and the
Grizzlies, now 0-13, were never closer than 15 points until the
game's final minutes.
"They bore down and got aggressive,'' Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich said of his players. "They played good defense and the
offense took care of itself.''
The win was the Spurs' 21st straight over the Grizzlies. That
winning streak ties for fifth-longest in league history with New
York's 21 consecutive wins over Boston from April 1993 to January
Duncan, who beat the Grizzlies with an arching 12-foot
turnaround jumper at the end of overtime on Nov. 4, finished with
28 points and 15 rebounds.
"I thought tonight was a step forward for this team,
particularly offensively,'' said Duncan, who has been shooting
erratically all season. "Their zone messed us up a little early,
but then we figured it out.''
Grizzlies rookie Drew Gooden, averaging 15.8 points and 6.5
rebounds, was held to four points and three rebounds.
Memphis players and coach Hubie Brown were blunt in dissecting
the team's performance.
"We're not playing together,'' said Grizzlies reserve forward
Lorenzen Wright. "We've got to play defense and you've got to
The Spurs outrebounded the Grizzlies, 49-30.
"Bottom line, if you don't take care of the defensive boards,
you can't win in the NBA,'' Brown said, noting that Duncan and
Robinson alone had more offensive rebounds (10) than the entire
Grizzlies' team (8).
After making only one of their first 19 shots Wednesday against
the Los Angeles Lakers, the Spurs went 11-for-19 from the floor in
the first quarter.
Three quick baskets by Gordan Giricek gave Memphis an 11-6 lead
about five minutes into the game. But the Spurs recovered to go up
by six by the end of the first quarter, and they extended that
advantage to 37-28 midway through the second.
Gooden's only baskets -- a layup and a running hook -- capped an
10-2 run that pulled the Grizzlies within one, 39-38, with 2:37
remaining. But Steve Smith then drained San Antonio's only
3-pointer of the half and Duncan followed with a short turnaround
jumper to put the Spurs up by six late in the period.
The last time the Grizzlies beat the Spurs was Feb. 12,
1997. San Antonio lost three of the four meetings between the teams
in the 1996-97 season, when Robinson was injured and before Duncan
came into the NBA. ... Gasol is the only Memphis player to start
all 13 games this season. ... Jason Williams (10.9 points, 6.1
assists per game) was in the starting lineup for the first 12
games, but he hurt his left foot Wednesday against Philadelphia and
didn't play against the Spurs.
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