Spurs 83, Grizzlies 73

The San Antonio Spurs hardly looked like an aging team playing

the second night of a back-to-back.

But the Memphis Grizzlies sure appeared to be a team still in a

haze from a four-game road trip.

Matt Bonner scored 15 points, going 5 of 9 from outside the arc,

and Tim Duncan added 14 points as San Antonio sent Memphis to its

fourth straight loss with an 83-73 victory over the Grizzlies on

Monday night.

The win was a nice rebound for the Spurs, who lost 101-100 in

overtime at Dallas on Sunday night.

”We had a disappointing loss (Sunday), but fortunately enough,

our bench played a lot of the minutes,” Duncan said. ”So, we

wanted to get off to a good start, came out with pretty good energy

and got a little lead, and our defense sustained it

throughout.”

That’s despite the Spurs earning a reputation of not playing

well on consecutive nights.

”I guess that’s what everybody is saying,” Duncan said. ”This

season has been a tough one, and it’s going to be exhausting on

everyone. After the loss last night, I was really disappointed, and

I think a lot of us wanted to come in here and give a much better

effort.”

Memphis couldn’t answer the effort, looking sluggish from the

start, leading to poor shots, lackadaisical play and lethargic

defense.

”Did you see effort out there?” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins

responded in his postgame remarks. ”That’s the problem. We’re not

working. First effort, second effort, third effort – when we give

effort, it’s just for a few seconds, and then we let up.”

Rookie Kawhi Leonard had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the

Spurs, who snapped a two-game skid. Richard Jefferson scored 13

points, while Danny Green finished with 11 points.

Even though Parker managed only five points, he did hand out 12

assists, two less than the entire Grizzlies team.

O.J. Mayo led Memphis with 17 points, shooting 7 of 11. Mike

Conley had 15 points for Memphis, and Marreese Speights scored 10,

all in the first quarter.

But Memphis was held to 37 percent shooting on the night,

primarily because Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies’ two

leading scorers, were a combined 3 of 18 from the field. Gay

finished with one point, missing all seven of his shots. Gay was

held scoreless in three games his rookie season, and had not gone

without a field goal in a game since April 16, 2007, against the

Spurs, also in his rookie season.

”I don’t think it was too much about what (the Spurs) did,”

Gay said of his night. ”It’s about me finding the spots to make

shots. I will take responsibility for that.”

The Spurs built the lead to 17 points in the first half, and

Memphis never got it under double-digits after halftime.

San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-37, including 14 offensive

boards, and held a 32-28 advantage in the paint.

”That’s what we are going to have to bank on,” Duncan said of

the energy and hustle. ”We’re not going to score a bunch of points

each night. Sometimes we’re not going to shoot the ball the way we

need to. … One thing we can bring is that energy and rebounding

and defensively be solid.”

It was the Spurs’ first trip to Memphis since the Grizzlies

ousted them in the first round of last season’s playoffs. San

Antonio had lost six straight on the road to Memphis, including

last year’s postseason.

The Spurs had energy from the start, and Memphis looked out of

sync. The Grizzlies were getting beaten on the boards and

outhustled for loose balls. The Spurs were the aggressors on both

ends of the floor.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the performance after Sunday’s

loss at Dallas was ”a hell of an effort to come back and play with

the intensity they played with. It was really nice to see.”

San Antonio shot 5 of 10 from outside the arc in the first half

as Bonner hit a trio of 3-pointers. His nine points and eight by

Leonard led the Spurs to a 45-35 lead at the break, but it took San

Antonio going scoreless over the final 3:34 of the half for the

Grizzlies to get that close.

Memphis didn’t start the second half much better. The Spurs

extended the lead, but Tony Allen was able to put a bit of a charge

into Memphis’ play with steals.

However, every time Memphis got close to pulling within

double-digits, the Spurs would answer with a couple of baskets. A

3-pointer by Bonner gave San Antonio a 64-47 lead, matching the

Spurs’ largest at that point.

”Firing them up as always,” Bonner said of his shooting.

”It’s all about the shooter’s mentality. You treat every shot

independent of what happened to the last shot, whether it went in,

it didn’t go in, whether you banked it in. It doesn’t matter. You

are going to step in and fire.”

The lead would reach 20 when Gay received a technical arguing a

no call. Parker’s free throw made it 67-47.

By the time the game reached the end of the third, San Antonio

was still up 70-50.

Memphis cut into the lead opening the fourth with seven

unanswered points, a streak stopped by yet another 3-pointer from

Bonner, and Memphis never threatened the rest of the way.

Notes: The Spurs are in the midst of playing 16 of 21 games on

the road, one of the toughest road stretches in franchise history.

. Memphis was playing its first home game in 10 days. The Grizzlies

were 1-3 on a West Coast swing. . The Grizzlies played their 16th

game since All-Star forward Zach Randolph went down with a torn

right MCL. Memphis is now 9-7 without Randolph. . With two steals,

Gay moved within two of tying Shane Battier for the career

franchise lead in that category.