Spurs blast Grizzlies in Game 1
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Lionel Hollins isn’t normally one for histrionics.
The Memphis Grizzlies coach is the steady sort, a composed personality who reflects the confident steadiness of his workmanlike team with his courtside demeanor. So who was this guy on Sunday at the AT&T Center, the frustrated and furious fellow who spent so much of the afternoon flailing his arms, rolling his eyes and scolding his players who were so overmatched? It was Hollins alright. But this sure didn’t look like his team.
The San Antonio Spurs not only put his Grizzlies in a 1-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals by winning 105-83, but they also put Memphis in the sort of tailspin that they have spent their historical season avoiding. They trailed by double digits less than six minutes into play, then managed only one semi-believable comeback when a Quincy Pondexter shooting show helped cut the lead to six in the third quarter. The Spurs put a quick end to any notion that they would blow this dominating debut, with Matt Bonner’s three sparking an 11-1 run to end the third quarter leading 73-57.
But Hollins was hardly the only one who didn’t look like himself, as the most ominous sign of them all for the Grizzlies was the disappearance of forward Zach Randolph. He checked out for good with 5:14 left in the fourth quarter and just two points to his name, setting a new season low after missing seven of eight shots.
For all the well-deserved praise the Grizzlies had received for their classic approach – inside-out offense and gritty defense –it seems the Spurs are more than happy to beat them at their own game. San Antonio had just spent the previous six games chasing those sharpshooting, fun and run, Golden State Warriors, and the chance to slow down the style and make it a match of sheer force again against the Grizzlies was apparently welcomed.
As has been the case so often of late, only one member of the Spurs’ Big Three played big (Tony Parker 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and nine assists), but the collective effort was … [For more on San Antonio Spurs blast Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1, click here.]