NBA Game Summary - Memphis at San Antonio
(Monday, December 26th)
Final Score: San Antonio 95, Memphis 82
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists as the San Antonio Spurs used a big run in the third quarter to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies, 95-82, in the season opener for both teams.
"We got our hands on a lot of balls, a lot of deflections, a few steals. We did a good job of that and it fueled the break the other way," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
San Antonio's defense forced 13 steals and 25 Memphis turnovers overall. The Spurs scored 28 points off those turnovers.
Tony Parker finished with 15 points, seven assists and four steals for the Spurs, who were upset by the eighth-seeded Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs last season.
But a 16-0 run led San Antonio to the victory Monday. The Spurs won despite limited action for Tim Duncan, who was hampered by foul trouble in the first half and logged just 21 minutes. He finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Rudy Gay had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back for Memphis. He missed the final 28 games of last season and the Grizzlies' entire playoff run with a shoulder injury. While they beat the Spurs without him, they lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a tightly contested seven-game Western Conference semifinals.
Duncan picked up three quick fouls in the opening six minutes of the first quarter and did not return until the third stanza.
The Grizzlies, though, did not take advantage. They led by just one at halftime, 44-43, despite shooting 53 percent from the floor. They turned the ball over 14 times in the opening half to keep the Spurs in the game.
With Duncan back on the floor in the third quarter, the Spurs took command. Ginobili and rookie Kawhi Leonard each scored six points during the 16-0 run, giving San Antonio a 68-49 lead. The Spurs took a 72-58 advantage into the fourth quarter.
"We didn't attack the way we were in the first half," Marc Gasol said of Memphis' third quarter. "We didn't shoot as well and they took advantage of that."
Gay capped off a 13-2 spurt with a three-pointer to bring Memphis within, 77-70, with 7 1/2 minutes left. But the Spurs pushed the lead back to 14 after a 9-2 run to seal it with 5 1/2 minutes to go.
The Spurs won 61 games last year, the most in a season by San Antonio in five years. They went 63-19 in 2005-06...Memphis went 46-36 a year ago...San Antonio remains without backup guard Gary Neal, who had his appendix removed during training camp...Gasol had 13 points and Zach Randolph finished with 10 points for Memphis.
12/27 01:51:54 ET