The Spurs roll into this first-round series, which starts Saturday night with Game 1 in San Antonio, as the No. 2 seed in the West with 61-21 regular-season record that was second only to Golden State in the National Basketball Association.
Marc Gasol had a playoff career-high 32 points, but only scored seven in the second half.
The San Antonio Spurs can take control of this series with another victory and a solid 2-0 lead.
San Antonio, the only higher seed that won easily Saturday, goes for a 2-0 lead against Memphis in the other game on Monday's schedule.
A couple of things occurred to me as the holy triumvirate of Dewayne Dedmon, Jonathon Simmons and Kyle Anderson threw a fourth-quarter block party, swatting away Memphis' attempts as the San Antonio bench put Game 1 to bed.
Memphis was outscored by 34 points over the final three quarters in dropping its ninth straight postseason game to San Antonio.
When prodded about what makes Westbrook so good, Harden provided some praise for the fellow point guard. Allen is the player who usually guards Leonard.
Regular season series: tied 2-2. Conley was bad after the early start, but it seemed like if the Grizzlies had been able to limit turnovers by making smarter decisions he could've gotten the game to a more controlled place, where the Grizzlies weren't constantly forced to make up for Spurs points off a turnover. As a result, the Spurs have a postseason record of 14-4 against Memphis.
Although they lost Tim Duncan to retirement and Boban Marjanovic to free agency, they're still a better all-around team than they were previous year. San Antonio led the league in Aggregate Bench Net Rating (ABNR) with a score of +8.9, according to NBA.com, so the bench will likely play a vital role in this series. Oh and the Spurs won 61 games, with no other All-Stars on the team. "You've just got to deal with that".
It is no secret that the Grizzlies are going to slow down the pace.
The Spurs swept Memphis in the conference finals in 2013 and then swept them again previous year in the first round. "We got physical and got some stops and got rolling from there".
"I thought, offensively, we loosened their defense up a lot", Mills said. His biggest job will be bottling up Marc Gasol for stretches, something he did passably when the Spurs met the Grizzlies in the regular season.
"Defensively, we allowed them to just drive and kick and get into their flow", Conley said.
The Grizzlies announced on Thursday that Allen has a calf strain and is out indefinitely. Memphis defeated San Antonio 104-96. Look for Aldridge to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor in this round as he tries to rev his game up to a level that can push the Spurs through the second round and beyond.
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