The Memphis Grizzlies fought their way back after being down by 18 points at one point in the second half to get the lead down to four, but it just wasn’t enough as the San Antonio Spurs took Game 5 in Texas on Tuesday night, 116-103.
Three quick thoughts on the game that will surely be broken down every which way heading into Game 6 -
- Mike Conley is really, really good at basketball. Conley scored 17 points in the third quarter and essentially led the comeback for Memphis on his way to a 26-point performance. He cannot play 48 minutes, however, and unfortunately when he was off the floor, the wheels would come off the offense, and by extension the defense, completely. Andrew Harrison, despite solid shooting, played his worst game of the series in Game 5 (-21 in 23 minutes played). He cannot be such a detriment to the team if the Grizzlies hope to get two straight wins over San Antonio.
- Manu Ginobili’s demise was overexaggerated, and he would be one of the lead examples of a Spurs offense that was clicking on all cylinders on this night. San Antonio shot an insane percentage from the field overall (52.5%), as well as from beyond the arc (50% on 14-28 shooting). Manu scored 10 points off the bench, his first points of the series, and he helped pace a strong bench effort for San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard was his usual, brilliant self, but the supporting cast of the Spurs (Tony Parker, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, Ginobili, and Pau Gasol) was better than that of the Grizzlies on this night. Memphis missed Tony Allen a good bit in this one.
- The Grizzlies struggled to put together a true 3rd scorer tonight, and that in addition to the amazing shooting performance of the Spurs doomed the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph only scored nine points in the game and was mostly a non-factor. Memphis had decent scoring from JaMychal Green, Vince Carter, and James Ennis III, but they need that guy after Conley and Gasol to step up. Tonight, he didn’t exist.
The Grizzlies now face a do or die Game 6 in Memphis at FedExForum on Thursday night.