Memphis made it interesting in the final minute despite
committing a season-high 24 turnovers.
The Spurs led 78-70 with 40 seconds left before the Grizzlies
connected on back-to-back 3-pointers by Mike Miller and Shane
Battier to pull within 78-76 with 19 seconds remaining.
Another 3-pointer by Miller cut it to one point, and Memphis
trailed 81-79 when Hakim Warrick went to the line with 2.5 seconds
left. But the rookie from Syracuse could convert only the first
one, and Nazr Mohammed hit a pair of free throws for the final
"I thought I got the rotation right, and it just didn't fall
for me," Warrick said. "It's tough, no matter what level you are
on, coming in there with a lot of pressure. It's just you at the
foul line and thousands of fans watching and the game's on the
line. It's tough to go out there and relax yourself, but that's
what you've got to do."
The Grizzlies came to the Warrick's defense, citing the other
problems that put them in the position to need such a frantic
"There's nothing he did wrong," Eddie Jones said. "No blame
is pointed at him whatsoever."
"As disappointed as Hakim is in the locker room right now about
missing that foul shot, we wouldn't have been in the position we
were in without him," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
Ginobili was 3-of-4 at the line in the final 18 seconds and
finished with 13 points for San Antonio. Michael Finley scored 11
for the Spurs, who have won 11 of 13.
"You always appreciate a win," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said, "but the last minute of that one was pretty pathetic."
Pau Gasol led Memphis with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while
Miller scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Chucky
Atkins scored 12 for the Grizzlies.
The Spurs, who trailed by as many as 13 early, scored 26 points
off Memphis turnovers. The mistakes also contributed to only 56
field goal attempts by the Grizzlies a franchise low.
The Spurs held a 45-42 advantage on the glass and had 15 on the
offensive end, leading to a 15-2 advantage in second-chance points.
"We did a pretty solid job on defense," Duncan said. "We got
in the passing lanes, got some steals."
Memphis built its early 13-point lead as the Spurs struggled
from the field. San Antonio managed only four baskets in 20
first-quarter attempts. Meanwhile, Memphis was shooting 56 percent.
The Spurs cut into the lead with a 14-2 run in the latter stages
of the half, and Memphis carried a 38-35 lead into the locker room.
Gasol led Memphis with 10 points, the only player on either team
in double figures in the half.
Tony Parker was saddled with early foul problems and managed
only five points and no assists in the half. He finished with nine
Duncan, who missed five of six free throws in the final 3
minutes, said the Spurs were lucky to escape the Memphis comeback.
"We learned a lesson here tonight," Duncan said. "It was a
cheap one because we still won, but we can learn."
Memphis C Jake Tsakalidis made his first start of the
season. ... Fratello was called for a technical foul in the second
quarter for arguing a call against Battier. Official Violet Palmer
made both calls. Later in the quarter, Spurs F Bruce Bowen was
called for a technical by Joey Crawford. ... San Antonio has won
all three games in the series this season. ... San Antonio's 12
first-quarter points was a season-low opening period for a
Grizzlies' opponent. However, Memphis would later tie its own
season low for points in the third quarter with 11. ... Duncan's
double-double was his 40th of the season, while Gasol had his 23rd.