Friday , Apr , 23 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Spurs get offensive; Grizzlies face elimination

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan finished with 22 points and 13
rebounds to lead San Antonio to a 95-93 win over Memphis in Game 3 of their
Western Conference quarterfinal series at The Pyramid.

Tony Parker and Hedo Turkoglu each contributed 18 points for the Spurs, who
posted their 14th straight victory dating back to the regular season and took
a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Manu Ginobili added 12
points.

“We played tighter defense down the stretch,” San Antonio head coach Gregg
Popovich said. “No defense means no win. That’s the key for us.”

Pau Gasol scored 18 points and Jason Williams added 16 for the Grizzlies, who
lost their first-ever home playoff game and must win Game 4 on Sunday in
Memphis to avoid elimination. Bonzi Wells chipped in with 14 points.

Robert Horry notched a career-high 12 rebounds, including eight offensive
boards, for San Antonio, which overcame a 10-point deficit in the second
quarter.

The Spurs, who held a 48-31 advantage on the glass, pulled down 13 of their 21
offensive rebounds in the second half and rallied from an 88-86 hole in the
fourth quarter.

A layup in the lane by Duncan put the Spurs ahead for good, 92-91, with 1:37
to play. Bruce Bowen and Manu Ginobili each made 1-of-2 foul shots with less
than a minute left to give them a 94-91 advantage.

“Those offensive rebounds were difficult to overcome,” Memphis head coach
Hubie Brown said. “We couldn’t take care of the defensive boards, and that
allowed San Antonio to slow down the tempo in the second half.”

Gasol’s dunk with 4.6 seconds remaining pulled Memphis within 94-93, and
Ginobili added a foul shot a second later to cap the scoring for San Antonio.

Mike Miller’s three-pointer at the buzzer from the top of the key bounced off
the rim.

“Down the stretch we weren’t able to make shots,” Brown said.

Midway through the first quarter, the Grizzlies went ahead 18-9 on a foul shot
by James Posey. A basket by Wells put them ahead 22-12 with less five minutes
to go in the first.

San Antonio ended the quarter on a 17-6 surge. A three-pointer by Turkoglu,
from the right corner, with 1.2 seconds left put the team ahead 29-28.

Parker paced the Spurs with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field in
the initial 12 minutes.

Memphis opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run. Miller’s layup less than two
minutes into the second opened a 36-29 edge.

San Antonio, which hit six of its initial eight three-point attempts, got
within 40-38 on a basket by Duncan midway through the second.

However, the Grizzlies reeled off eight straight points. A follow-up dunk by
Stromile Swift with 3:50 remaining in the quarter opened a 48-38 advantage.

Parker hit three straight foul shots to trim the Spurs deficit to 54-50 with
33 seconds left in the second, but they trailed 57-50 at halftime.

“We didn’t bring our defense in the first half,” Popovich said. “We were in
bad shape.”

Parker led all scorers with 14 points, and Turkoglu added 11 points on 4-of-4
shooting — including 3-for-3 three-pointers — in the initial 24 minutes.

Less than five minutes into the third period, San Antonio went ahead 64-61.
Turkoglu posted five straight points to cap its 14-4 burst.

The Spurs went ahead 70-66 on a hook shot by Rasho Nesterovic with 3:10 to
play in the third, but a slam by Wells with 24.8 seconds to go in the quarter
forced a 74-74 tie at the end of the quarter for Memphis.

A jumper by Jason Hart opened an 84-79 lead for San Antonio less than four
minutes into the fourth quarter.

Williams hit a three-pointer with 4:23 to play that put the Grizzlies ahead
88-86. They led 91-90 on a foul shot by Wells less than two minutes later.

SAN MEM