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Duncan, Spurs cruise to victory over Grizzlies

Nov 24, 2007 - 5:12 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan scored easily on the first play of the game, and little changed the rest of the way for the San Antonio Spurs.

Duncan scored 14 of his season-high 28 points in the first quarter as the Spurs crushed the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-88, on Friday night at the AT&T Center.

The efficient Duncan shot 14-of-17 from the field for San Antonio, which slowly pulled away throughout the contest for their fourth straight victory.

Duncan, whom Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a "monster underneath," did not play in the fourth quarter.

"He was great early on," said Spurs guard Brent Barry, who scored 14 points. "We wanted to exploit them offensively with Tim being in the block. It's always high percentage that he's going to score some buckets in the post when somebody smaller is guarding him."

The Grizzlies, who have lost five straight on the road, never had a fighting chance against the Spurs, who are 8-0 at home this season.

"They came out tonight showing their fangs and meaning business," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We tried to keep the game close with our energy, but we just couldn't sustain the talent of the San Antonio Spurs."

The Spurs took advantage of Memphis' small lineups, scoring 64 of their points in the paint.

"They were switching and using a lot of different defenses, so the little bounce passes and things around the basket were open," Duncan said. "We have a lot of unselfish guys who can move the ball really well, and I thought we did a good job of that tonight."

Tony Parker added 21 points and eight assists and did most of his damage in the second quarter. That's when the Spurs seized control of the game by outscoring the Grizzlies, 32-18.

Parker found creases in Memphis' defense to score 13 points in second period, and Manu Ginobili also added seven of his 11 in the quarter en route to San Antonio's 61-40 lead at the half.

Memphis never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way but came out firing in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 7-0 run.

Two free throws from Stromile Swift with 7:35 left in the third cut the Grizzlies' deficit to 65-53. But San Antonio responded, pushing back when Memphis made any dents in its deficit.

"We couldn't cut into it anymore," Memphis guard Damon Stoudamire said. "They had a cushion and are a veteran team. If we could have gotten the deficit into single digits, it may have been different."

The reserves actually gave San Antonio its largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter when Brent Barry hit a 3-pointer for an 84-62 lead with just under nine minutes to play.

Rudy Gay collected 15 points and seven rebounds, Pau Gasol and Mike Miller combined for 26 points and rookie Juan Carlos Navarro scored 16 for Memphis.

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