Short-handed Grizzlies fall to Spurs
Clay Bailey, Associated Press | 3/29/2016, 12:15 p.m.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies both were short-handed, but the Spurs still had LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge had 31 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Spurs earn a 101-87 victory on Monday night despite resting stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Aldridge made it clear early San Antonio would not need the absent trio, scoring 14 points in the first quarter as the Spurs built an early 16-point advantage. He eventually would connect on 11 of 16 shots as San Antonio won for the third time in the last four games.
"I was just out there playing. This system is not really made for guys to take over," Aldridge said when asked about filling the void.
Patty Mills finished with 17 points, while Kyle Anderson had 13 points and a career-best seven assists and four steals, also a career high. Boris Diaw added 13 points.
"I just try to have a complete game," Anderson said. "I try to get the rebounds, find some teammates and do some scoring."
Meanwhile, Memphis continued to struggle without key players, including starters Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Starting forward Zach Randolph missed his second straight game with a right ankle sprain.
Vince Carter led Memphis with 14 points, while JaMychal Green finished with 12. Matt Barnes had 11 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, which lost its third straight. Ray McCallum scored 10.
"Just a poor start for us again, just from the jump," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said.
As was the case in Friday's game between the teams, a 110-104 Spurs victory, Memphis had little answer for Aldridge, who had 32 points in that San Antonio win. At the midway point of the third quarter Monday night, Aldridge, who took the night off for Saturday's loss at Oklahoma City, had connected on 10 of his 14 shots.
"LaMarcus was great," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "After a few days' rest, he looked spry and ready to go."
While Aldridge was helping San Antonio to a quick start, Memphis was throwing the ball around haphazardly, committing seven turnovers in the first period. Despite a bit of a second-quarter Memphis rally, the Spurs led 53-45 at intermission. They extended the advantage heading into the fourth with an 81-68 lead.
"San Antonio did a great job and locked us up," Memphis guard Lance Stephenson said. "We forced a lot of stuff that didn't work. We had a tough day in the books."
Spurs: With the three stars resting, San Antonio started Aldridge, Danny Green, Anderson, Boban Marjanovic and 40-year-old Andre Miller. Miller started only his second game of the season. ... The Spurs have not lost consecutive games this season. ... San Antonio won its fifth straight in the series.
Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green played in his 70th game, the most for a Memphis player this season, an indication of the games lost to injury. ... Stephenson, who had scored in double figures in eight straight games, was limited to four points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Duncan, Parker and Ginobili did not make the trip to Memphis after also not traveling to Oklahoma City for Saturday's loss. "It's all based on the schedule and how many minutes they've played," Popovich said when asked if there is a formula to the nights off. "Three in four nights. Back-to-backs. It doesn't matter who we are playing. That's not what we do with it. We don't pick games out."
There was some thought forward Kawhi Leonard, who is nursing a right quad contusion, might fly in for the game. Popovich said Leonard wasn't ready to return to action. "He's still hurting. He's healing. We didn't say if it would be fast or slow. He's healing."
Reserve Spurs forward David West didn't play against Memphis. Asked if anything was wrong with West, Popovich replied: "He's fine, but no, it wasn't rest. I just decided to give him the night off."
Spurs: Host New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday
Grizzlies: Host Denver Nuggets on Wednesday