National Basketball Association
Memphis at San Antonio
When: 8:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 23, 2017
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs are positioned to make one last run at overtaking the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference. San Antonio stands 2 1/2 games out with 12 remaining but seven of its next eight games are at home, beginning with Thursday's tilt against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs, who have home games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Warriors next week, had to overcome a double-digit deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-93 on Tuesday in a game that miffed veteran guard Manu Ginobili. "It looks like sometimes we need to be pushed to the limit to bring out the best in us," Ginobili told reporters. "Sometimes we have it. Sometimes we're going to be able to overcome that and sometimes you won't." The Grizzlies are competing with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the sixth seed in the West but saw a four-game winning streak halted Tuesday when they suffered a 95-82 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. "Everything we built over the last four games, we threw away," All-Star center Marc Gasol told reporters. "I can't find the reason why, but the consistency we built was really fragile."
8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (40-31):
Memphis averaged 104.5 points during the four-game winning streak but had to tally 28 points in the final quarter against the Pelicans just to reach 82. Gasol had only 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting and point guard Mike Conley (16 points on 6-of-14 shooting) and backup power Zach Randolph (four points on 2-of-11 shooting) also had subpar efforts. "Our three big guns didn't have it for whatever reason," Memphis coach David Fizdale told reporters. "We can't win games with our big three down like that."
ABOUT THE SPURS (54-16):
The concern over the health of power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is dissipating after he scored 26 points against Minnesota. Aldridge missed two games due to a heart arrhythmia issue but has tallied at least 18 points in all four games since he returned and he is averaging 21 points during the stretch. All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points against the Timberwolves and has reached 20 or more points in 15 of the past 18 games.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Grizzlies are 2-0 against Spurs this season, including a 104-96 victory last Saturday.
2. San Antonio backup PF David Lee (foot) sat out against Minnesota but said he intends on playing against Memphis.
3. Memphis SG Tony Allen (knee) is questionable after sitting out the New Orleans contest.PREDICTION:
Spurs 102, Grizzlies 93
Stats and Records