Duncan scored 33 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Wednesday night,
leading an inside dominance by San Antonio as the Spurs defeated
the Grizzlies 105-87.
"They just whipped us and dominated the boards," said Memphis
coach Hubie Brown. "Then their key guy gave you an MVP game."
Duncan connected on 13 of 16 shots from the field as the Spurs
won their seventh straight game. Memphis, meanwhile, is in a
tailspin, losing seven of its last eight.
The Grizzlies seemed to have little answer for Duncan inside,
and when point guard Tony Parker added 10 of his 16 points in the
third period, San Antonio continued to build the lead.
Six minutes into the final period, the Spurs led by 20 and
eventually would hold a 21-point advantage twice down the stretch.
Reserve Malik Rose added 18 points for San Antonio.
Lorenzen Wright led Memphis with 24 points, but the rest of the
frontline had little punch. Leading scorer Pau Gasol scored five
points and had five rebounds before fouling out, and Mike Miller,
still suffering from back spasms, had seven. The Grizzlies were
outscored 50-38 in the paint and outrebounded 49-35.
"I wanted top get physical with him," Duncan said of his
defense on Gasol. "When he got his touches, I wanted to make him
The dominance of San Antonio's inside play was evident early.
All 11 of the Spurs' first-quarter field goals were in the paint,
and San Antonio held a 14-7 advantage on the boards.
"We wanted to get it in (the paint)," Duncan said. "If we get
it in there, that's where we want to attack from."
"We play inside out," said guard Stephen Jackson. "When the
big guys are going, they're going, and we've got to get it into
Still, Memphis stayed close, trailing by 38-37 with five minutes
to play in the half.
From there, San Antonio outscored the Grizzlies 11-2 to build
the lead to 10, and eventually hold a 49-40 lead at the half.
Duncan led the way with 20 points, hitting nine of his 10 first
half shots, and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Wright managed 10 points for Memphis, but was 3-of-10 from the
field as the Grizzlies shot 37 percent from the floor.
Memphis tried to slow the inside play with a zone defense, but
it was effective only for a short time.
"Against the zone, we don't set up for the outside shot,"
Parker said. "...Obviously, we have (Duncan and Rose) on the
inside, so me and (Jackson) penetrated a lot."
San Antonio extended the lead to 73-54 midway through the third
period and led 83-67 entering the final quarter.
"They came in here and played really well, like they've been
playing against everybody," Wright said. "They're playing team
basketball, and they're playing playoff basketball. That's
something we can hopefully look at and learn from."
Memphis C Stromile Swift missed the game with a sprained
thumb. Swift missed a pair of games in the last month due to the
injury. ... Duncan had his 54th double-double by halftime. ... The
Spurs lead the series 27-4. ... The Spurs won their seventh
straight on the road and 15th of their last 16 away from home.
...Wright's 24 points matched his season high. ...San Antonio's
Bruce Bowen was 2-for-2 from 3-point range, putting him slightly
ahead of Person for the league lead. Person was 2-of-3 from long
No. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons said hearing the news of the death of his cousin "is a reminder to never forget the important things in life."
DeMar DeRozan, arguably the top shooting guard who could hit the free-agent market, is focused on re-signing with the Raptors, a source said.
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has accepted an invitation to play for Team USA at the Summer Games, filling out the 12-man roster for Rio de Janeiro.