NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 9th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (39-39) at San Antonio Spurs (48-30), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Star swingman Manu Ginobili got his new contract and he now hopes to help his San Antonio Spurs free themselves of a log-jam in the Western Conference playoff standings tonight when the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Alamo City.
The Spurs officially inked Ginobili, who is averaging 16.5 points with 4.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 72 games this season, to a multi-year contract extension early Friday morning.
"It is quite obvious how important Manu has been to our program," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "It is a great feeling to know that one of the best players in the world will continue to be a Spur."
The Spurs are currently in a three-way tie for the sixth spot in the West with Portland and Oklahoma City as each team attempts to steer itself away from a possible first round matchup with the defending champion LA Lakers.
San Antonio was unable to help itself in its most recent outing, falling in the desert to a red-hot Phoenix team on Wednesday. Amare Stoudemire had a game-high 29 points in that one, as the Suns got back to winning with a 112-101 victory over the Spurs.
Roger Mason had 18 points off the bench to pace San Antonio while Richard Jefferson added 17 points in the loss.
It was a 29-29 game after the first quarter, but the Suns started to pull away in the second, when Stoudemire poured in 12 points. Five of them came in an 11-2 run Phoenix used to end the half and take a 61-52 lead into the break.
"That was definitely one of the keys to the game," Mason said. "The last minute and 50 seconds of the first half, they made a run and turned the intensity up and we didn't respond very well."
Memphis, meanwhile, is playing out the string and dropped its third straight in Dallas on Wednesday when Dirk Nowitzki poured in 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, as the Mavericks crushed the Grizzlies, 110-84.
Rudy Gay tallied 23 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost six of seven. All- Star Zach Randolph posted 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Mike Conley finished with 17 points and seven assists in defeat.
"They beat us. They came out hard and aggressive, jumped on us and then tried to conserve their starters," Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins said.
The Grizz have lost in their last 10 trips to San Antonio.
04/09 11:01:06 ET