San Antonio wins series 4-0 (Game 1 of 4)

San Antonio wins series 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, April 17th
Game 2: Monday, April 19th
Game 3: Thursday, April 22nd
Game 4: Sunday, April 25th

Spurs 98


Coverage: FSSW

7:00 PM ET, April 17, 2004

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 19 15 18 2274
SA 28 21 22 2798

Top Performers

Memphis: J. Posey 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

San Antonio: T. Duncan 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Memphis limited to 34.8 percent shooting

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Whatever happened during the regular season means nothing at playoff time. The San Antonio Spurs had been saying that for two days, and they went out and proved it Saturday night.

The defending NBA champions gave the Grizzlies a harsh initiation to postseason play, getting 26 points from Tim Duncan and taking control early in a 98-74 victory.

The Spurs used their size advantage to produce easy inside baskets from Duncan and Robert Horry, while their relentless defense made Pau Gasol a non-factor while holding Memphis to its worst shooting percentage of the season.

Eighteen of San Antonio's first 25 points came in the paint, and the Spurs ended up with 50 points inside.

"Even when they pressured, we were able to push it up and get inside this defense," Duncan said. "If we move the ball and attack like that, we should do great."

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night in San Antonio.

The win was the 12th straight for the Spurs and their 14th straight at home, coming against a team that beat them three times during the regular season. Duncan got hurt early in the first of those losses back in November and was on the injured list for the other two last month.

Memphis, which entered the league in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies, never made the postseason or won more than 28 games in its first eight seasons.

"The playoffs are like a whole different season, and this is just the start of it," Duncan said.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he protected Duncan for the postseason after the All-Star forward returned to action in mid-March.

"I held him back and made sure we didn't put him in a position where he was tired and got injured because of it," he said. "Now that it's playoff time, he will play as necessary."

San Antonio led 49-34 at the break, and the lead grew as large as 28 before the Spurs' regulars sat down for the night.

Gasol, the Grizzlies' leading scorer, went 3-for-11 from the floor and finished with 14 points.

As a team, Memphis shot 34.8 percent, the Spurs 53.4 percent.

"I wasn't smart enough to attack them," said Gasol. "They tried to take me baseline, they locked me down under the glass and I just took too much time to make the plays."

Manu Ginobili added 15 points for the Spurs, while Hedo Turkoglu had 12 and Horry and Tony Parker each scored 10.

Bonzi Wells had 16 points to lead Memphis and James Posey scored 15.

A pair of free throws by Gasol midway through the first quarter gave the Grizzlies their only lead, 8-6. Duncan then went over Mike Miller for a layup to tie the score and start an 11-0 run.

The Spurs limited the Grizzlies' starting lineup to only 16 points in the first half on 6-for-17 shooting. Their only bright spot on offense was Wells, who came off the bench to score 12 points in 12 minutes before the break.

"You cannot shoot 32 percent at the half on the road unless you're going to force them into that (kind of) shooting," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "In that first half they were quicker than us and did an excellent job in the transition game."

Gasol, guarded mostly by Duncan and Rasho Nesterovic, was held without a field goal until he made a driving layup with 19.2 seconds remaining in the half.

Game notes

The Grizzlies' lowest shooting percentage during the regular season was 35.2 percent against Toronto on March 23. ... San Antonio's bench outscored the Memphis reserves, 37-28. ... Robert Horry's 166 playoff games is second only to Karl Malone's 173 among players in this postseason. ... Wells is the most seasoned of the Grizzlies with 25 games of playoff experience. ... San Antonio's Devin Brown did not play because of a rib injury. He is expected to miss most or all of the series.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 74 98
FGM-FGA 23-66 (.348) 41-76 (.539)
3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 6-13 (.462)
FTM-FTA 24-28 (.857) 10-13 (.769)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-38 7-36
Assists 10 26
Turnovers 20 18
Steals 12 9
Blocks 6 8
Fast Break Points 2 3
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (2/1) 21 (1/0)

Top Performers

San Antonio
James Posey Posey
Points: 15
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Tim Duncan Duncan
Points: 26
Reb: 9
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 2