Richard Jefferson scored 18 points, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili added 17 each and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 102-92 on Saturday night.
The victory was the Spurs’ fourth straight and extended the Grizzlies’ skid at home to eight losses in a row. Six Spurs finished in double figures, including Matt Bonner who had 13 points, including shooting 4 of 7 from 3-point range. George Hill added 11 and DeJuan Blair 10.
The Spurs played the second half without guard Tony Parker, the team’s second-leading scorer, who broke a bone in his right hand at the end of the first half.
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O.J. Mayo led Memphis with 23 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Zach Randolph had 15 points, while Rudy Gay contributed 13. However, Gay and Randolph were a combined 9 of 27, part of Memphis shooting 43 percent from the floor.
Memphis was within 91-85 with 5:36 left, but the Spurs scored the next seven points to get the advantage back to double digits.
From there, it was a matter of exchanging baskets the rest of the way for San Antonio to leave with a victory.
The Spurs shot 55 percent in the first half, and overcame an early deficit with a 20-4 run to open the second period. San Antonio would continue to extend the advantage as Bonner connected on a trio of 3-pointers, part of San Antonio hitting six of its first nine shots outside the arc.
San Antonio’s defense caused 12 of Memphis’ 15 turnovers in the first half as the Spurs led 58-48 at the break. Jefferson had 12 in the half, while Duncan and Bonner had 10 each.
Memphis chipped into the lead in the third period, but San Antonio was still ahead 78-72 entering the fourth.
While Memphis has lost eight straight at home, they have won six straight on the road.
Notes: The Grizzlies are the only team in NBA history to simultaneously have streaks of six-plus home losses and six-plus road wins, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … The Grizzlies game was the nightcap of a doubleheader at the FedExForum. The Memphis Tigers closed out their regular season with a 75-53 win over Tulsa in the Saturday matinee. … Travel problems for San Antonio on Friday night delayed the Spurs leaving until Saturday morning, arriving in Memphis after noon, less than 7 hours before game time. The problem apparently was a light on a wing of their chartered flight. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich didn’t take long to decide the Spurs would stay home and leave Saturday morning. "I wasn’t going to wait two hours for them to tell me: ‘I’m not sure this plane’s going to go,’ so we walked off." Two years ago, the Spurs were left on the tarmac overnight with plane problems in New Orleans after winning Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. … Popovich has talked at times about giving Duncan some time off on the second night of back-to-backs. Despite that, Duncan was in the starting lineup against the Grizzlies. "I said we wanted to try and limit his minutes. Sometimes he wouldn’t play. Sometimes he would play limited," Popovich said. "As the month progresses, I’m sure his time will get limited here and there." Saturday’s game completed the first of five back-to-backs the Spurs have this month.