Spurs thump Grizzlies in series opener

Spurs thump Grizzlies in series opener

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Agence France-Presse
Spurs thump Grizzlies in series opener

Tony Parker of San Antonia Spurs drives for a short attempt against Ed Davis of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Finals on May 13, 2003. AFP photo

The San Antonio Spurs drained 14 three-pointers in a convincing 105-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening game of the NBA’s Western Conference finals on May 19.

Tony Parker scored 20 points and handed out nine assists for the Spurs, whose stifling defense held Grizzlies’ top scorer Zach Randolph to only two points.

Randolph came in averaging 19.7 points per game in this post-season, but finished just 1-of-8 from the field for a Grizzlies team appearing in the conference finals for the first time.

The Spurs, meanwhile, showed the poise to be expected from a team making their eighth appearance in a conference final in the last 15 years.

The winners of the best-of-seven series advance to the NBA title series against the Eastern Conference champions.

Reigning NBA title-holders Miami host Indiana in game one of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.

Kawhi Leonard and Matt Bonner scored four three-pointers apiece as San Antonio set a club record for three-pointers in a playoff game.

First double-digit loss for Memphis

Leonard finished with 18 points, while Bonner scored 12 off the bench and San Antonio handed Memphis their first double-digit loss since game one of the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tim Duncan scored six points for the Spurs and pulled down 10 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter led the Grizzlies with 17 points, making five three-pointers.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol added 15 and Mike Conley added 14, but Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said his team would have to do better.

“San Antonio played extremely well, and we did not,” he said.

The Grizzlies scored the first basket of the game, but San Antonio scored the next five to take a lead they never relinquished.

The Spurs led by 17 by the end of the first quarter and led by as many as 20 in the second before taking a 14-point lead into halftime. The Grizzlies produced a 10-0 scoring run in the third as they trimmed the deficit to six points.

Pondexter was the key contributor, making two of his three-pointers in a spurt that was capped by Jerryd Bayless’s dunk that made it 62-56 with 3:43 remaining in the third.

However, San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili shook off his scoring woes long enough to drain a three-pointer that ended the Memphis run and the Spurs relentlessly rebuilt their lead.