Grizzlies fall short of a triumphant comeback against the Spurs

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports


Final - 1.7.2014 1 2 3 4 OT 1 Total
San Antonio Spurs 25 28 21 24 12 110
Memphis Grizzlies 22 19 23 34 10 108

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All heart, grit, grind. That is why I love my team, that is why I watch my team, that is why the Grizzlies are MY TEAM. To say they have been going through struggles would be a understatement of the century. With their star center out as well as their defensive stop sidelined for a hand contusion, the Grizzlies took on a shorthanded Spurs team who was without Tiago Splitter.

The Grizzlies had troubles all game long to stop the Spurs, they let the spurs have all easy shots, and kept shooting jumpers. The Spurs had about an 8 to 12 point almost the entire game. It ballooned to 16 with about 3 minutes to go, and that is where the Grizzlies decided they were tired of getting blown out.

The Grizzlies started out the game with a lot of jump shots, and did little to dissuade the Spurs from getting easy looks. The way the Spurs were shooting one would think that they were up 20 points, but it ended up 25 - 22 after one. Then in the second, the Spurs showed why they were the Spurs by continuing the same trend. They kept shooting easy shots, and kept forcing the Griz to take bad shots. It was a 12 point lead for the Spurs after 2 (53 to 41). The third started, and the Grizzlies looked to have a little more life, as they played with more energy, and yet they only scored 2 more points than the Spurs.

The Grizzlies had hope for the fourth because they were playing much better, but that became very dreary when the Spurs continued being the Spurs. The lead ballooned as far as 16 with 5:25 to go, and the door seemed to be closed on the Grizzlies, and who would expect anything different with a team missing their best player against the monstrous Spurs (See Clippers vs. Spurs a couple of days ago). However, the Grizzlies showed something that we haven't really seen in a long time.

Heart, the Grizzlies showed heart. They started chipping away at the lead slowly, and seemed to have some life. The lineup of JJ, ZBo, Lee, Conley, and Davis showed a lot of effort for the grizzlies and they got the lead down to 9 with 2:25 left, but Marco Belinelli hit a turn around fade away 3pter that seemed to close the door on the Grizzlies for good because the Spurs were up 12 with 1:59 to go, I even said that the game was done, but boy was I wrong. The Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run to tie the game at 96 and everyone couldn't believe their eyes. To do this, Mike Conley hit a 3 with 20 seconds to go, and JJ stole the ball from Belinelli and hit his only three for the game (he ended 1 for 6). The Grizzlies tied the game with 13 seconds left, but that was too much time for the Spurs as Manu had a layup on a pass from Duncan with 3.6 seconds left.

The Griz had a little more magic up their sleeves however, because Conley drove the lane and hit a runner that had to have hit every part of the rim before going down. In overtime, the grizzlies finally got their first lead of the game off a Conley 3 and led 103-102. The Spurs took the lead again, but Lee got in on the fun with a 3 pointer of his own (he was 2 for 5). However the Grizzlies couldn't score in their next two possessions and found themselves down again, but JJ came up big this time with a rebound, then a driving layup.

However, the Grizzlies showed where they really missed Mr. Wendigo because Manu was able to put a veteran move on Ed Davis who bought the fake and let Manu get to the hole with only 1.8 seconds left on the game clock. Mike had a wide open look at a three to win it for the Grizzlies, but he was a good 5 feet from the 3 pt line, and it ended up short. Although the Grizzlies did not get result that they wanted, hopefully this is a HUGE turning point in their games as they get closer to the return of their center.

Stats of Note
  • Conley absolutely killed it tonight with 30 points on 23 shots (3 of 5 from three) but missed two free throws late in the game
  • ZBo is still no longer the Spur killer with 17 points on 18 shots (he wasn't getting many calls though)
  • Leonard still shows why he is the poster boy for the spurs by going 7 for 9 from the field
  • Timmy D had a season tying high of 24 points and was too much for our bigs to handle
  • Belinelli was strong for Spurs too with 19 points
  • Coutney Lee with his season debut for the Grizzlies put up a +2 +/- and provided much better minutes than what looked like an ailing miller did. He ended with 12 points on 5-10 shooting, and played good defense too.

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