for this game

Spurs' star trio helps sink Grizzlies

Jan 3, 2009 - 5:04 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- All-Stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker got the San Antonio Spurs going early, then Matt Bonner and Manu Ginobili finished off the Memphis Grizzlies, 91-80, at FedEx Forum on Friday.

Duncan finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Parker added 19 points as San Antonio swept the season series against Memphis for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Bonner scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Ginobili scored San Antonio's first seven points in the fourth quarter after it had led, 67-56, after three.

"We've played these guys four times. They're a young, talented team that's well-coached," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

"We're happy to get four wins in the four times we've faced them. That's difficult to do. We needed our defense. We weren't making shots at a great rate, and our defense helped us get through."

Hakim Warrick's 16 points led Memphis, which was looking to avenge a 106-103 double-overtime loss at San Antonio on December 27.

Marc Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who were limited to 40 percent shooting (31-of-78) Friday in dropping their fourth straight contest and eighth of their last nine overall.

"In our (100-98 loss) against Milwaukee (on Tuesday), we didn't play good defense," Parker said. "We let Michael Redd have a big night and all those guys were shooting the ball well. We just didn't make stops.

"Tonight, we played better (defensively) and, hopefully, we'll do the same thing (Saturday) against Philadelphia."

Leading, 51-44, following Rudy Gay's 10-footer in the lane with 9:18 left in the third, the Spurs went to Parker, who sank a free throw before Bonner buried a 22-foot jumper on the next possession to spark a 16-4 run for San Antonio.

Bonner scored seven points and Parker added five during the spurt, which left Memphis trailing, 67-48, with less than four minutes left to play in the third.

"That was a tough third quarter," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We were down four at the half, and they came out with a lot of energy and tried to put us away. They're on a back-to-back and they wanted to get this one over with.

"We've got to do a better job of getting through the tough stretches when a team steps up."

The Grizzlies responded with a 10-0 spurt over the final 3:04 of the third and first 20 seconds of the fourth, cutting San Antonio's lead to 67-58 on rookie forward Darrell Arthur's spinning one-hander in the lane.

But Ginobili - who had scored just six points on 2-of-6 shooting through the game's first three quarters - scored San Antonio's next seven points on a pair of long-range shots and two free throws.

Bonner connected on another 3-pointer with 8:58 left in the fourth to push the Spurs' advantage to 80-63.

Duncan scored 10 of San Antonio's first 16 points and gave the Spurs their first lead of the game at 14-12 on a three-point play with 3:32 left in the opening period.

The All-Star forward finished 4-of-4 from the field in the first quarter to lead a sizzling 71 percent shooting effort (12-of-17) by San Antonio in the opening frame.

Parker added eight first-quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting for San Antonio, which built a 28-20 lead after one.

But the Spurs cooled off dramatically from the field in the second quarter, shooting just 25 percent (4-of-16) in the period while allowing Memphis to cut a 10-point deficit early on in the quarter to 44-40 at the half.

"It's hard to play a team four times in less than half a season. They're changing things all the time and they get used to us also," Duncan said. "We did a pretty good job tonight of focusing in and playing the full 48 minutes.

"We did a lot better job than the previous three meetings with them."

Warrick's 11 first-half points off the bench led Memphis, which held the Spurs without a field goal over the final 3:10 of the second period.

"They outplayed us from the start," Warrick said. "We just didn't have it. They out-executed us, out-hustled us and out-toughed us. They did a really good job of ball pressure. ... They just wanted it more than us tonight."

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