NBA Game Summary - Memphis at San Antonio
(Sunday, April 9th)
Final Score: San Antonio 83, Memphis 81
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan scored 23 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, and altered Pau Gasol's potential game-tying shot in the closing seconds, as the Spurs held on for an 83-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Tony Parker added 19 points for San Antonio, which moved a game ahead of Dallas for the top spot in the Western Conference and the Southwest Division. The Spurs, despite playing without Manu Ginobili (left calf contusion), avoided their first three-game skid since March 2005.
"We put ourselves in a great position, but we gave up two in a row at home," Duncan said. "We still have the lead in the West, and in the division and we're going to try and hold onto that."
Jake Tsakalidis had 15 points to lead Memphis, which clinched a playoff spot on Saturday following a loss by the Hornets. Gasol ended with 14 points and eight turnovers, as the Grizzlies remained entrenched in the sixth spot in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Clippers. Memphis had a three- game winning streak broken and lost for just the fourth time in its last 14 games.
"This was a good lesson for us," Gasol said. "It lets us find out what's in store for us in the playoffs. This game showed us reality. Perhaps we have to step it up one notch for the playoffs, facing the strongest teams."
The Spurs held the Grizzlies scoreless for the final 2:05. Mike Miller's layup pulled Memphis even at 81, but Parker countered with a jumper with 1:49 left to make it 83-81.
The Grizzlies missed several chances to tie. Gasol missed a jumper and had a shot blocked by Duncan. Chucky Atkins missed a jumper with the shot clock winding down inside of a minute and Shane Battier couldn't convert a tip.
Parker missed a jumper at the other end and the Grizzlies got the ball back with 25.1 seconds left.
Gasol challenged Duncan from the left wing and drove to the basket, but his right-handed layup attempt hit off the backboard and rim. Brent Barry corralled the rebound and the Spurs ran out the clock.
"He wanted the ball out there tonight," Parker said of Duncan. "He was real aggressive. When he is aggressive like that, he draw the double team and it opens things up for all of us."
Memphis led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, but San Antonio scored the final seven to get within 22-20 after 12 minutes. The game was tied at 43 at the half, and the Grizzlies were clinging to a 65-63 lead going into the fourth.
Miller, who scored 14 points, expanded Memphis's lead to 73-66 with 9:29 left following a free throw, but the Spurs scored the next six points and the game remained tight until the end.
The Spurs have won 84 of their last 92 regular season home games...Battier had 10 points and 12 rebounds...Michael Finley scored 11 and Robert Horry had 10 for the Spurs.
04/10 00:26:24 ET