San Antonio's Tony Parker had 20 points and nine assists to lead the Spurs to a 105-83 win over the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Sunday afternoon.
SAN ANTONIO -- Coming into the Western Conference Finals, Tony Parker stated that the San Antonio Spurs mindset against the Memphis Grizzlies was pretty simple: “respect the game plan.”
The Spurs executed it from tip-off to buzzer with Parker keeping them on the same page the whole game.
Parker had 20 points and nine assists to lead the Spurs to a 105-83 win over the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Sunday afternoon.
Parker was 9-of-14 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line in 33 minutes. He also had just three turnovers.
“Just one of those games. It happens sometimes,” said Parker on his team’s performance. “Our ball movement was great tonight and I shot the ball very well.
The second-seeded Spurs came out strong in the first quarter, shooting 58 percent. They built an early 17-point lead on the Grizzlies when Matt Bonner connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, making it 29-12.
By the time Parker’s 12-foot teardrop fell through the basket midway through the second quarter, the Spurs had built a 20-point lead over the Grizzlies, 43-23.
San Antonio, set a playoff record for 3-pointers made, going 14-of-29 for 48 percent against the second-ranked defense in the league.
“We shot incredibly,” said Manu Ginobili. “When you are making shots like that, everything opens up and makes the game easier.”
It did, as the Spurs ball movement gave them 28 assists on 40 field goals. San Antonio shot 53 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line.
“Ball movement was better,” said Parker. “Good to great. We always try to do that. Sometimes defenses, they do a good job of playing aggressive and making it hard on us, but we have to stick with that. That’s who we are.”
Kawhi Leonard had 18 points for San Antonio. Danny Green added 16, Gary Neal 11 and Matt Bonner 12, with all of Bonner’s points coming on four 3-pointers.
Tim Duncan had 10 rebounds.
Memphis, a sixth seed, went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter, behind consecutive 3-pointers from Quincy Pondexter that cut the double-digit lead to six, making it 62-56 with three minutes left.
San Antonio answered with an 11-1 spurt of its own to end the quarter, with Manu Ginobili hitting nine points in the run that gave the Spurs a 73-57 lead.
By the time DeJuan Blair hit a pair of free throws with 1:32 left in the game, the Spurs had stretched the lead to 28.
Memphis’ only lead of the game was on their first basket that made it 2-0.
“It happens. It’s basketball,” said Memphis center Marc Gasol on his team’s mishaps. “It’s not always about you. We have a team in front of you that plays really good basketball and they know how to do it. We’ve got to come back, regroup and do what we do and do the best we can.”
The Grizzlies were led by Pondexter, who had 17 points. It was the first time all season Pondexter has led the team in scoring.
Mike Conley added 15 points, with eight assists, and Marc Gasol had 15 points.
Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer at 19.7 a game, was 1-of-8 from the field for two points. He also had seven rebounds.
“Well, obviously it hurt us because we only scored 83, so we do need him to score a little bit,’ said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins on Randolph’s lack of offense. “But we need other people to score and play well.”
Memphis came in having won eight of its last nine playoff games, and ousted the defending Western Conference champs, Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1 to advance to their first ever conference finals.
The Grizzlies have dropped the opening game in their series against the LA Clippers and Oklahoma City, but rebounded strong
Game 2 will be Tuesday night in San Antonio.