Spurs win 13th straight for 2-0 lead
=== Spurs win 13th straight for 2-0 lead ===
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tony Parker scored a game-high 27 points
and handed out seven assists to lead San Antonio over Memphis, 87-70, in Game
2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup at the SBC Center.
Tim Duncan added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the red-hot Spurs, who have won
13 straight games dating back to the regular season. Robert Horry came off the
bench and tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
“Now its playoff time and (Horry) wants to play,” said Duncan.
San Antonio captured the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home
and will try to take a commanding 3-0 lead on Thursday at The Pyramid.
Pau Gasol netted 20 points and grabbed 11 boards for the Grizzlies, who have
dropped six in a row overall. Memphis, which is in its inaugural playoff run,
will try to stop this slide knowing that it won both regular-season games
against the Spurs in Memphis this year.
The Grizzlies trailed by 12 early in the second half, but responded with a
19-8 run to get to within one. Stromile Swift capped the spurt on a pair of
free throws to cut the lead to 55-54 with 4:56 remaining in the third.
However, the Grizzlies would get no closer as Horry came right back with a
three-pointer to push the Spurs’ edge back to four.
Bonzi Wells made a field goal with 4:01 left in the third to get it back to
two points, but San Antonio posted 10 of the final 13 points of the frame to
take a 68-59 advantage into the fourth.
Gasol made a foul shot in the first minute of the fourth to cut the lead to
eight for Memphis, but the Spurs then sealed the victory with 14 unanswered
points. Parker completed the spurt on a basket with 6:01 left to give the
Spurs a convincing 82-60 lead.
“We were playing with intensity, running and executing and stopping them,”
said Gasol. “But they had that run in the fourth quarter that really killed
us. We weren’t playing like we did in the first three quarters.”
In fact, the Grizzlies did not hit a field goal in the entire fourth quarter
until Wells found the bottom of the net with exactly five minutes remaining.
The Grizzlies are averaging just 72 points in their first two playoff games
after shooting just 37 percent from the field in this one.
San Antonio also dominated the battle on the glass, 53-35.
The Spurs were on top 26-21 after the opening quarter and they led the rest of
the way. Parker carried the load for San Antonio with 13 points in the first
12 minutes as he tied a team post-season record with a trio of three-pointers
in a quarter.
With a 12-2 run that bridged the first and second quarters, San Antonio
increased its edge to 11. Jason Hart capped the burst on a jumper with 9:54
left in the second to put his team ahead 32-21.
The Grizzlies would cut the deficit to six at 37-31, but would trail by 11
again at the intermission, 46-35.
Parker led all scorers at the half with 17, giving Duncan a break as the
2003 NBA Finals MVP only contributed nine points in the first 24 minutes.
Defensively, the Spurs held the Grizzlies to 40 percent shooting in the first
half and outscored them for the sixth straight quarter in the second frame.