MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- To Memphis forward Pau Gasol, it really
didn't matter if Tim Duncan played.
"I expect to do the same thing with Duncan in," Gasol said
after scoring 27 points against the Duncan-less San Antonio Spurs
in a 94-88 victory Tuesday night. "Obviously, his presence has a
big influence on the game, but I expect to do the same thing with
or without him on the court."
Gasol and the Grizzlies dominated the middle, the third-year
player from Spain scoring 10 points during a fourth-quarter
comeback as the Grizzlies gained their 40th win of the season.
Gasol's two free throws with 8.4 seconds left provided the
winning margin in the Grizzlies' sixth consecutive win. The loss
snapped a three-game winning streak for the San Antonio, which
hadn't been beaten since March 1 -- also against Memphis.
Duncan, the league's reigning MVP, remained on the injured list
and missed his sixth game with a leg injury. While Memphis defeated
the Spurs in three of four games this season, Duncan was injured
for the last two and played only one quarter in another.
"It doesn't matter; that's hypothetical. It doesn't exist,"
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of not having his star.
"What exists is what happened, and they did a heck of a job. It
doesn't matter that Tim's here or not."
Despite shooting 17-of-28 from the free throw line, Memphis won
by its frontline dominance, outscoring San Antonio 56-26 in the
paint. The Spurs also were hindered by 26 turnovers, matching a
"(Duncan) is obviously the key for us," Spurs guard Manu
Ginobili said. "He's our best player, probably the best player in
the league. So we probably could have done many things better."
Gasol connected on 11 of 21 shots, and his 11 rebounds included
six on the offensive end. Shane Battier added 16 points, and
Stromile Swift had 12.
If the Spurs' 10 first-quarter turnovers weren't bad enough, San
Antonio opened the second quarter by missing nine of 10 shots. The
Grizzlies took advantage and built the lead to 12 in the second
The Spurs reversed the trend in the third quarter. Parker scored
11 straight points for San Antonio, including a trio of 3-pointers,
and by the time Nesterovic added a 15-footer to end Parker's
string, the Spurs were on a 24-9 run and eventually led 62-55.
Robert Horry's 3-pointer to close out the third quarter gave San
Antonio a 67-63 lead.
But the Grizzlies have shown they can close games, and Gasol led
the fourth-quarter rally.
"They were more aggressive," Popovich said. "I think they
competed, in that respect, harder than we did. It must have meant
more to them than it did to us. That lack of enough
competitiveness, and the sloppiness with the ball, was our downfall
against a very good team."
Matt Carroll, who signed with the Spurs earlier this week,
went through a bit of a numbers game. Carroll was originally given
No. 13, until Spurs officials realized that number was retired in
honor of James Silas. Carroll then was given 19 for the Memphis
game, but is expected to be No. 3 by the time the Spurs play the
Clippers at home Wednesday. ... The Grizzlies announced that
starting C Lorenzen Wright will miss at least two more weeks with a
right knee sprain suffered against Portland on March 3. Mike Miller
is listed as week-to-week with the back spasms that have sidelined
him since Feb. 20. ... Memphis coach Hubie Brown was the Spurs'
color commentator prior to the Grizzlies hiring him early last
season. ... The Grizzlies are 25-7 since Jan. 1. ... The Grizzlies
had seven steals in the first quarter, matching a team record for
thefts in a period. ... Rose had his fourth double-double of the
season. ... Nesterovic had six blocks, one short of his season