Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/14

Game 1: Saturday, January 14th
Game 2: Monday, January 16th
Game 3: Friday, February 24th
Game 4: Sunday, April 9th

Grizzlies 79

(23-12, 10-7 away)

Spurs 80

(28-9, 18-2 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    7:30 PM ET, January 14, 2006

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 20 13 21 2579
    SA 21 23 17 1980

    Top Performers

    Mem: P. Gasol 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Blk

    SA: T. Duncan 19 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Spurs squeak past Grizzlies on late Duncan layup

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Manu Ginobili made the most of his return to the San Antonio Spurs' starting lineup.

    Not only did he lead the Spurs with 20 points, he created the decisive basket by hitting Tim Duncan with an inbound alley-oop pass for a layup with 7.2 seconds left in San Antonio's 80-79 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

    Duncan slipped behind Pau Gasol under the Spurs' basket and Ginobili threw a perfect inbound pass. Duncan caught it in the air and his two-handed shot just climbed over the front of the rim.

    "The idea was to give it to (Duncan), but if by any chance Pau was fronting him, he was going to go for a lob and so that's what happened," Ginobili said of the final basket. "I just threw it in the air and he finished very well."

    Gasol said he lost track of Duncan on the play.

    "I also lost sight of the ball and they caught us there," he said. "It was an excellent pass, right on the money ... and he made the tough, close shot."

    The Spurs led by 15 points midway through the third quarter before Memphis charged back behind Bobby Jackson and Mike Miller. Jackson, who started 1-for-7 in shooting, had 16 of his 19 points in the second half, and Miller scored eight straight to end the third and start the fourth.

    Jackson hit Gasol cutting down the lane for a dunk to put the Grizzlies up 79-78 with 8.8 seconds remaining.

    Ginobili started for the first time in more than a month. He missed eight games after spraining his right foot in early December and then he came off the bench for the last eight.

    "I think everybody is feeling a sense of normalcy with him in the starting lineup," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "Everybody fit into their roles."

    After a 3-pointer by Ginobili gave the Spurs a 70-60 lead with about 8 minutes left, the Grizzlies made their move.

    Eddie Jones hit his second 3-pointer and Jackson made a pair of jumpers -- the second coming after he stole the ball from Tony Parker -- to trim the difference to 75-73.

    Robert Horry made a corner 3, then Gasol was fouled and converted both free throws to make it 78-77.

    Duncan scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds, while Michael Finley added 12 points on 3-for-5 shooting behind the arc.

    Gasol led Memphis with 26 points, but he made only four of his 13 free throws. Jones contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Miller scored 10.

    Memphis made just three of its first 12 foul shots and finished the game 10-for-20 at the line.

    "You can't win big games against great teams if you shoot like that at the foul line," said Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello.

    The Grizzlies missed seven of their first eight shots, but still led 10-8 early as the Spurs committed three turnovers in their first seven possessions. Gasol had nine points in the opening minutes.

    Finley, coming in for Ginobili midway through the first, quickly scored on a dunk and a corner 3-pointer to keep San Antonio close.

    He had another 3 and another dunk during the Spurs' 16-4 run early in the second that built their lead to 37-24.

    Memphis got baskets from Jones and Gasol and a 3-pointer by Jackson to pull within eight late in the half, but Ginobili drove around Gasol for a layup and made three free throws in the final minute to make it 44-33 at the break.

    The Grizzlies, behind Gasol, cut that deficit to five before a pair of 3-pointers by Ginobili and one by Finley keyed a 14-4 burst that gave San Antonio its biggest lead of the night at 59-44. Jackson countered with two more 3s as Memphis got back within seven to start the final period.

    Game notes

    Finley went scoreless in Thursday night's loss to Detroit and had averaged only 5.4 points in his previous five games. ... Besides his free throw woes, Gasol committed five of the Grizzlies' 13 turnovers ... The Spurs and Grizzlies play again in Memphis on Monday night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 80
    FGM-FGA 32-67 (.478) 29-67 (.433)
    3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 8-16 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 10-20 (.500) 14-19 (.737)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-36 9-36
    Assists 13 18
    Turnovers 13 15
    Steals 11 7
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 2 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 15

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 19
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4