Grizzlies fend off Spurs 104-103 behind Conley, Gasol
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies dumped all the frustration from seven straight losses at San Antonio during a wild two-second sequence.
Mike Conley had 30 points, Gasol hit two free throws with 0.7 seconds left and Memphis beat the Spurs 104-103 on Wednesday night.
“It’s very special to win here,” Conley said. “We haven’t won here in so long it feels like. It’s hard to beat any Spurs team, no matter who’s dressed up in their uniform.”
Memphis’ last win in San Antonio was Dec. 17, 2014. Ending that skid proved nerve-wracking.
San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan had 24 points, including a fadeaway 15-footer in the left corner with 1.2 seconds remaining for a 103-102 lead after the Spurs trailed for much of the game.
Gasol then drew a foul from Rudy Gay on the ensuing inbound pass and hit both free throws, and LaMarcus Aldridge missed a 3-point try at the buzzer.
Gasol appeared to hit Aldridge’s right arm on his shot, but no foul was called as the crowd booed heavily. Gasol said he got much of the ball, but the Spurs disagreed.
“I thought it was a foul,” DeRozan said. “Not even thought. It’s a foul. What’s right is right is right, what’s wrong is wrong. If you call that (against Gay), you gotta call L.A.’s. Just the right call to make.”
Memphis led by 10 in the first half and by as many as six in the second before the Spurs rallied. San Antonio opened the fourth quarter on a 13-7 run to take a 90-88 lead on Aldridge’s layup.
The Spurs held the Grizzlies to 43 points in the second half after allowing 61 in the opening two quarters.
“They made so many huge plays,” Conley said. “Big shots at the end and we just had to withstand each and every position and stay calm in every situation. I thought we did a good job of just holding onto it at the end.”
The Grizzlies shot 48 percent from the field, got 32 points from their bench and outscored the Spurs 42-38 in the paint, but San Antonio had a 12-2 advantage in the lane in the final period.
Aldridge and Gay combined to score 20 points in the final period, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Spurs from losing their second straight and fifth in six games.
Gay finished with 21 points, and Aldridge had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
San Antonio committed only one turnover in the first half but allowed Memphis to shoot 61 percent in the first quarter and 54 percent for the half.
Grizzlies: Former Spurs forward Kyle Anderson smiled as he received a warm reception during pre-game introductions. Anderson spent his first four seasons with the Spurs. ... Jaren Jackson Jr. was issued a technical foul for arguing with an official after picking up his fourth foul with three minutes remaining in the first half. ... Former Spurs guard Jaren Jackson was in attendance watching his son, Jaren Jr., play. The elder Jackson, who was a member of the Spurs’ inaugural championship in 1999, cheered excitedly each time his son scored.
Spurs: Davis Bertans returned after missing two games while in the NBA’s concussion protocol after being injured Nov. 15 against the Clippers. ... Pau Gasol missed his eighth straight game with a sore left foot. ... Tim Duncan was in attendance.
PAYING HOMAGE TO ALLEN
Although Pau Gasol was injured, he still had to pay up on a dinner bet he had with his younger brother on the game’s outcome.
“Yes, he’s paying for it,” Marc Gasol said.
Grizzlies: At Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Spurs: At Indiana Pacers on Friday night.