for this game

Duncan powers Spurs past Grizzlies

Jan 27, 2007 - 5:47 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs let a huge lead slip away against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies until Tim Duncan decided enough was enough.

Duncan scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had a career-high nine blocks as the Spurs posted a 112-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Manu Ginobili had 17 points and Tony Parker added 18 and eight assists for San Antonio, which led by 15 at halftime before Memphis rallied to tie the game at 81-81 after three quarters.

With the score tied at 85-85 2:04 into the final period, the Spurs went on a 17-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Michael Finley with 5:09 remaining to put the game away.

"Some other games, when we lose a big lead, we kind of stop playing," Ginobili said. "I think in the fourth quarter we did a great job of facing the opponent, stepping up and being more aggressive. We did a good job."

"I thought we did a great job in the fourth quarter moving the ball, hitting shots, with everyone being aggressive on defense," Parker added. "We were making the rotations, rebounds, steals and all the little plays that win games."

Duncan had five points in the run and shot 10-of-16 from the field, nearly registering the third triple-double of his career. The nine-time All-Star had 13 points at halftime to help San Antonio to a 62-47 lead.

"Tim had nine blocks and played great basketball," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He was pretty active and committed to taking care of the paint tonight. He did a great job."

Duncan felt his blocked shots had nothing to do with the absence of Grizzlies leading scorer Pau Gasol, who was held out of the game due to a strained left hamstring.

"No, I wasn't anticipating any difference with Gasol out, "Duncan said. "I was just trying to challenge shots and the blocks kind of totaled up."

However, the Grizzlies, who had made just three 3-pointers by halftime, went 7-of-8 from the arc in the third period. Eddie Jones, who finished with 17 points, scored nine on 3-of-4 from long range to help the Grizzlies knot the game after three periods.

Finley finished with 15 points and fellow reserve Brent Barry added 13 for the Spurs, who shot 61 percent (45-of-74) and now begin a season-long eight-game road trip in 19 days.

"It's always good to get a win before going out on the road," Popovich said. "We'll just have to get out there and see if we can continue to improve."

Hakim Warrick scored 27 points and Mike Miller added 13 for Memphis, which has lost seven straight to San Antonio.

"We battled one of the best teams in the league," Grizzlies interim coach Tony Barone said. "This is one of the best defensive efforts in a long time, but these Spurs are just relentless.

"They keep coming after you and Tim Duncan is great. He shares the ball and he's not selfish. To beat a team like this we still have to grow as a team."

Chucky Atkins added 10 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who shot 45 percent (35-of-78) and have dropped all nine games this season vs. Southwest Division opponents.

"They did a good job rotating and hitting every open shot they created down the stretch and turned that into a comfortable lead," Warrick said. "We tried to get back but they did a good job of closing out."

  • ** CONFIRMED **
    MEMPHIS 96

    Jan 26 10:20 PM

  • NBA
    MEMPHIS 81

    Jan 26 9:46 PM