The Memphis Grizzlies keep their playoffs hopes alive following their 104-95 beat down of the San Antonio Spurs to pull within 2-1 in their Western Conference best-of-seven first-round series on Thursday at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mike Conley recorded 24 points and 8 assists, while Memphis’ bruise brothers Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph chipped in 21 points each in an easy victory for the Grizzlies. After struggling to find their mark in the first two games, Memphis shot 50.6 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from the three-point line. They also had an outstanding job on the defensive end, as they limited the Spurs to 47 percent from the field and forced 12 turnovers..
Head coach David Fizdale, who was slapped with a $30K fine for his ‘take that for data’ outburst at the end of Game 2, believes his players were able to match the Spurs’ physicality in all four quarters of Game 3.
"I mean the Spurs were punking us. Let's be real about it. So we had to match them, or otherwise we were going to get pummeled. And so I was just really proud of the way we stepped up and took the challenge," said the first-year coach in the post-game interview.
Kawhi Leonard is Robot
After already popularizing the ‘take that for data’ quote, Fizdale shifted his attention on describing Spurs star #Kawhi Leonard, whom he compares to a robot. “He was standing next to me the other night, and he wasn’t breathing. So I’m going to check the rulebook to see if robots are allowed to play in the NBA,” said Fizdale, who finally found a way to at least contain the former Finals MVP in Game 3.
The 25-year old Leonard dropped 32 points in Game 1 and then followed it up with a career-playoff high 37 points in Game 2. However, the former San Diego State standout couldn’t find his offensive groove against several Grizzlies defenders – Tony Allen, James Ennis and JaMychal Green - as he finished with 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
Manu Ginobili free-agency
Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation reported shooting guard #Manu Ginobili hasn’t decided yet about his future next season. The Spurs veteran averaged 7.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 18 minutes per game during the regular-season, but hasn’t made any basket in three playoff games against Memphis. Ginobili, who signed a one-year, $14 million deal to stay with the Spurs, stressed that the outcome of this year’s postseason campaign won’t have any impact on his decision this summer. #Spurs Rumors