If the San Antonio Spurs had any desire to win the championship, they certainly displayed their will to win tonight. The Spurs grabbed an easy victory over the depleted Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio was looking more like a one-seed than their actual two-seed ranking. The opposite can be said for the seven-seed Grizzlies who had an ugly night.
The Grizzlies held on and fought hard in the first-half but found themselves down 11 heading into halftime. NBA veteran Vince Carter kept the game competitive for Memphis but couldn't carry the whole team himself. Then, the Spurs blew the whole game up. They outscored Memphis 33-14 in the third quarter behind fantastic play from point-guard Tony Parker. Memphis couldn't stop the San Antonio offensive onslaught and were down 30 by the end of the third. The Spurs sealed the deal in the fourth and glided into a quick 1-0 record in the first-round series. If they can keep with this pace and intensity, it should be an easy 4-0 for San Antonio. But Don't count those Memphis rascals out just yet.
Teamwork Gets the Job Done
Even with multiple players scoring in double-figures, the most impressive aspect of San Antonio's game is their ability to share the ball. Memphis had no idea where the scoring was going to come from. Sometimes Kawhi Leonard would rush to the paint, other times Tony Parker would bomb a shot from deep, and LaMarcus Aldridge was a constant threat down low. Their teamwork kept their offense fresh, flowing and unpredictable.
Memphis had rough time finding their shot tonight. Despite an impressive display from 39-year-old Vince Carter, they shot only 39% from the field. They were outmatched by the solid Spurs defense and forced a few ugly shots. By halftime, they had lost hope and succumbed to a blowout loss. If they want to keep themselves from a first-round exit, they'll need to switch up their game plan as quick as possible.
Many Hands Make Light Work
The wealth was evenly spread around the San Antonio roster tonight. Leonard finished with 20 points, three blocks and two rebounds. Parker led his team efficiently on the floor, scoring 15 points with six assists. Aldridge contributed 17 points and four grabs off the glass. Spurs veteran Tim Duncan had seven points and 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Patty Mills popped off for 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Kevin Martin also helped out with 10 points. As a team, the Spurs shot 51.9% from the field and 43.5% from deep.
For Memphis, the two biggest stars of the night were Vince Carter and Lance Stephenson. Carter finished with 16 points and three rebounds. His performance had some fans thinking it was the year 2000 all over again. Stephenson had 14 points, two rebounds, and two assists off the bench. The rest of the Grizzlies lineup didn't do too hot. Zach Randolph and Jordan Farmar both ended the night with six points and three assists each. Matt Barnes and Chris Andersen each finished with two points but Andersen also grabbed 9 rebounds. The bench, with the exception of Stephenson, stayed quiet the whole night. None of the other players finished in double-figures.
The Spurs and the Grizzlies face off again on Tuesday in San Antonio. Memphis will look to avenge their embarrassing blowout with a statement win over the home team. The Spurs will hope to dominate the Grizzlies again and carve an easy path to the second-round. May the best team win.