Rested Spurs Propel Team to Overtime Win
The $250,000 question Saturday night was how much rest might factor into an important divisional showdown between teams also jockeying for Western Conference supremacy.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gambled that fresh legs would give his aging team a fighting chance against the NBA-best Grizzlies.
It was an expensive bet. And one that Popovich and the Spurs won by earning a 99-95 overtime victory in AT&T Center.
Parker and Tim Duncan were the only Spurs who scored in the extra period.
The Spurs’ Big Three had plenty in reserve to earn the comeback victory. The NBA fined San Antonio $250,000 on Friday for sending four players — Ginobili, Duncan, Parker and Danny Green — home before Thursday night’s game at Miami. Popovich’s reasoning was that he wanted to rest his star players for their fourth game in five nights and sixth in 10 days.
By Saturday, the Spurs’ core hadn’t played in three days. The Griz, though, played the second of a back-to-back set after beating the Detroit Pistons on Friday night in FedExForum.