The Memphis Grizzlies traveled to San Antonio to face the mighty Spurs. The Spurs have had their defensive struggles early in the season, but have put up non-Spur type offensive numbers. Memphis was riding a four game win streak, reaping the benefits of a healthy Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and JaMychal Green.
Memphis started Conley, Gasol, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, and Jaren Jackson Jr. The Grizz jumped out to an early lead, building as much as a 10-point lead in the first quarter. At the first media break, Memphis would be 3-4 from three point land, up 16-9 with 6:32 left in the first period. Conley, shooting the lights out of late, picked up where he left off. He would make two threes in the first three minutes, setting the tempo on the offensive end.
Fouls were the biggest enemy of the Grizz in the first quarter. Gasol picked up his second foul at the six minute mark in the first, Jaren Jackson would get his second foul at the three minute mark and then a third with 33 seconds left. JaMychal Green picked up his second foul with two minutes left, followed quickly by a J.B. Bickerstaff technical foul. A 10-point Memphis lead would quickly evaporate with the Spurs getting free points at the free throw line. Spurs led 32-30 at the end of the first quarter.
Memphis trotted out Shelvin Mack, MarShon Brooks, Omri Casspi, Marc Gasol, and Wayne Selden Jr. to start the second quarter. That lineup likely looks unfamiliar, but was a necessity because of the early fouls. The Grizzlies quickly grabbed the lead back, leading 39-38 at the 8:17 mark, prompting a Spurs timeout. The Grizz offense was led by Casspi, who dominated down low against the Spurs second team bigs.
Another game changer in the second quarter came via the Spurs fouls. The script flipped with four Spur fouls before the 9:30 mark, leading to a plethora of free throws throughout the quarter for Memphis. The bonus would start at 7:00 left in the half. JJJ made two consecutive threes leading to a short Memphis run through the middle minutes of the quarter. He then picked up his fourth foul, followed by a technical foul at 5:01 in the second, sending him to the bench.
As the Spurs often do, they put together a short run off a Patty Mills three and two DeMar DeRozan layups, tying the game at 52 with 3:33 left in the half. This would be the last time the Spurs led before the end of the half, Memphis led 61-59 at the conclusion of the quarter. There were a few missed opportunities from Memphis to end the half, but they still produced back-to-back 30-point quarters. Conley led Memphis with 14 points and 6 assists. DeRozan led the Spurs with 15 points on 6-12 from the field.
Memphis started Conley, Temple, Gasol, Green, and Anderson after the half. Gasol picked up his third foul at the 10:38 mark followed by two Spur threes to grab the lead. Kyle Anderson made his mark in the third quarter, ending the game with nine points and nine rebounds, but taking over early in the third on both ends. He would build the Memphis lead back to four points, 69-65 at 7:59 in the third.
Aldridge struggled throughout the game, especially in the third quarter, missing easy jumpers. He would end the game 6-20 for 19 points. JJJ entered at 5:00 left in the quarter with four fouls, picking up his fifth at 4:24 in the third, finishing the game with just 12 minutes. DeRozan took over in the third, quickly becoming the go-to option for the Spurs offense. That would remain a theme through the end of the game.
Memphis kept the Spurs out of the bonus through the entire third quarter, leading 81-77 after three. DeRozan was the game high scorer at 20 points, Conley had 16.
81-77 as we head to the fourth. While they have the lead, the Grizzlies have played well enough for it to be significantly bigger. Not a lot of things out of their control are going their way, but the smart play of Anderson, Casspi, and Brooks have made a difference so far.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 22, 2018
The fourth quarter got interesting. JaMychal Green picked up back-to-back fouls to start the quarter, followed by a technical foul. Gasol would pick up his fourth foul at 9:16 left, and his fifth at 4:23 left. Fouls would be a problem for both sides, Aldridge picked up fourth at 6:39 and grabbed a tech because of it. The Spurs would tie the game at 88 midway through the quarter, with both offenses struggling to find any rhythm.
Mike Conley became the scoring option for Memphis with Gay and DeRozan holding it down for the Spurs offense. Conley scored six straight points at the 3:00 mark, answered by DeRozan. San Antonio would lead 99-98 with under two minutes left. Green fouled out at 1:51 on a loose ball foul after a Gasol made jumper. Spurs would hit the free throws, grabbing a 101-100 lead. Conley hit a jumper at 1:01, Memphis led 102-101. After a Kyle Anderson deflection, Conley missed a three with 25 seconds left, Spurs rebound.
DeMar DeRozan got the ball at the top of the key, guarded tightly by Garrett Temple, dribbled to his left, Conley came to double team. DeRozan pulled up for a 16-footer with Conley in his face, drained it for a one point Spurs lead, 103-102, leaving 1.4 left on the clock.
DeRozan puts the Spurs up 1 with 1 sec left! pic.twitter.com/fCoQdm22TW— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) November 22, 2018
Memphis used their last timeout to advance the ball, drawing up a back-screen pick play for Gasol on the opposite elbow. Gasol pump faked, got Gay in the air who was called for a foul. Gasol would get free throws, making both for a 104-103 lead.
The Spurs would have 0.7 seconds, called timeout to advance the ball, and ran a play for a quick Aldridge three. He would airball after the strong Gasol contest. Memphis wins 104-103, led by Mike Conley with 30 points and Gasol with 20. The Spurs were led by DeRozan with 24, Gay with 21, and Aldridge with 19.