League-leading Spurs do enough to beat Grizzlies

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan was perfect from the floor on a night when his team showed plenty of flaws.

Duncan shot 8-for-8 and scored 21 points, helping the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 105-98 Wednesday despite blowing a 19-point third-quarter lead.

"We really let them get back in the game," said Duncan, who went 5-of-10 from the foul line.

Duncan also grabbed nine rebounds for the Spurs, who have won five straight. Michael Finley had a season-high 20 points, Tony Parker added 18 points and 10 assists, and Bruce Bowen had 13 points -- including 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs were up by 19 early in the third, but their cushion slipped away and Memphis briefly took the lead in the fourth.

"They really caught fire in the third quarter," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We were able to get it done. So they did a good job when it mattered."

The game was tied at 90 with less than six minutes to go before a bucket by Pau Gasol put Memphis up by two. The teams then traded baskets -- a 3-pointer for the Spurs and a bucket for the Grizzlies -- before Francisco Elson's jump shot with 4:16 left put San Antonio ahead for good, 95-94.

The Grizzlies' Mike Miller scored all but two of his 22 points in the second half. He was followed by Gasol with 16, and Hakim Warrick and Chucky Atkins with 11 apiece.

It was the second game in a row that the Spurs squandered a big lead and allowed their opponent to go ahead in the fourth quarter.

On Saturday at home against Philadelphia, the Spurs gave away a 17-point third-quarter advantage and allowed Philadelphia to take a lead late in the fourth. Only eight late points from Manu Ginobili, who had 12 against Memphis, saved the game for San Antonio.

"We've been here before," Finley said. "We've let good leads slip away. We were able to sustain offensively through working together and defensively by being committed and making them make tough shots. They missed them, we made them, and we got the win."

The Spurs (20-6) own the NBA's best record. They have won five in a row overall and six straight at home.

The Grizzlies fell to 6-20.

"Defensively we made things happen, we got some deflections, we had some steals, we had some stops and then we got out and ran," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "All of a sudden we are back here smelling it. We were close enough. It was back and forth for a while."

The Spurs were ahead 62-46 at halftime, but Memphis went on a run in the third quarter that was capped by Miller's 3-pointer, tying the game at 71 with 3:38 left.

Finley then answered with a 3 of his own to start a 10-0 run for the Spurs, who ended the period up 82-76.

"We are a team that's going to keep fighting and scrapping. We were a little disappointed in the first half with our effort," Miller said. "We played a lot harder in the second half. We were able to get out, run a little bit, get a few easy buckets and that helps against a defense like that."

With 7:35 left in the second quarter, Atkins got two technicals and was ejected for yelling at an official after he was called for an offensive foul. About 30 seconds later, Dahntay Jones also got called for a technical.

"You can't have everybody get bent out of shape," Fratello said. "You can't hurt your team because you get so frustrated and get yourself thrown out of the game."

Parker got a technical in the first quarter.

Game notes
It was Gasol's fourth game back after missing the first 22 this season with a broken left foot. The injury was sustained in the World Championships this summer. ... The Spurs are 15-1 when scoring 100 or more points. ... The Grizzlies have lost eight of 10.