Wednesday, May 18 2022

The San Antonio Spurs will look to build on one of their best games of the season when they host the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

The game is the second of a road-home back-to-back for the Spurs, who head back to the Alamo City after a quick trip to Houston on Tuesday that produced a dominating 134-104 victory.

Eight Spurs scored at least a dozen points — led by Dejounte Murray, who had 19 points and 10 assists in just 24 minutes of court time in the blowout. Jakob Poeltl had 18 points and nine rebounds through three quarters, after which San Antonio led by 31 and emptied the bench.

Keldon Johnson added 16 points for the Spurs, while Doug McDermott had 15, Tre Jones hit for 14, Drew Eubanks tallied 13, and Thaddeus Young and Devin Vassell contributed 12 each.

San Antonio shot a season-best 57.4 percent and scored 82 points in the paint, the most for any NBA team this season. The Spurs were a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, with all of those shots coming in the first half.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich liked the way his team bounced back after dropping two straight games at home, most recently to Philadelphia on Sunday.

“We started out aggressively and played a good game all throughout the 48, and obviously that’s the goal — to be more consistent and more habitual in all those areas,” Popovich said. “I thought they did a fine job tonight.”

The Spurs are undefeated (8-0) when leading by 25 points or more in a game this season.

The Grizzlies head to San Antonio for Part 2 of their Texas Two-Step and the finale of a four-game road trip after a 104-91 loss in Dallas on Sunday. Memphis, which has dropped two of its past three outings, never led and was doomed by a first half that saw season lows in scoring (34 points) and shooting percentage (28 percent).

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 35 points and career-high-tying 13 rebounds Sunday, playing 41 minutes. “I was trying to win; I felt fine,” Morant said. “I’m 22 years old. Normally around this age you can run all day.”

De’Anthony Melton added 12 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. hit for 10 and Stephen Adams and John Konchar grabbed 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Memphis shot a season-worst 16.7 percent (4 of 24) from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies did some things well: They turned 21 offensive rebounds into 16 points and outscored Dallas 60-50 in the paint, with 28 of those points coming from Morant.

“Our defense was there, but our offense couldn’t get it done,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Especially nights where your offense isn’t going, you can really slide on the defensive end and give up 120 points.”

Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane and Kyle Anderson missed the Dallas game because of the league’s COVID protocol. In all, five of the Grizzlies’ top eight scorers were out Sunday.

Memphis has won three straight games against the Spurs, including a 118-105 victory earlier this season at home.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports

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