SPURS 96, GRIZZLIES 82
SAN ANTONIO, Sporting Alert — Kawhi Leonard scored a playoff career-high 37 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies to move to 2-0 in the first-round series on Monday night.
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Leonard, who shot 9-of-14 from the floor and made all 19 of his free throws, also collected 11 rebounds and became the first Spurs player with 35 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs since Tim Duncan did it against the Phoenix Suns in 2008.
Tony Parker added 15 points and Danny Green made four 3-pointers to finish with 12, while LaMarcus Aldridge scored 11 in the victory.
Pau Gasol ended with 10 points and five rebounds for San Antonio, which secured its 10th consecutive postseason win over Memphis.
“This team has character, besides the talent and the desire to win,” Gasol said.
“We have to keep that up every single night. We responded well when they made their run, and that’s the mindset we have to have every night.”
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies (0-2) with 24 points and added eight assists in the defeat.
Conley shot 8-of-18 from the field and made four of five 3-pointers.
Zach Randolph added 18 points (9-of-18), 10 rebounds and three steals and Marc Gasol finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Grizzlies.
Also scoring in double figures for the travelers was veteran Vince Carter, who had 12 points.
As a team, the Spurs, who led for most of the contest, shot 45.9 percent and had 14 assists on 24 made baskets.
Memphis had 19 assists and 31 made buckets, but was held to just 37.8 percent from the floor.
Officials Never Game Us A Chance: Fizdale
After the defeat, Grizzlies coach David Fizdale blasted the officials of Monday night’s game — claiming they never gave his team a chance.
“It’s unfortunate that I’ve got a guy like [point guard] Mike Conley that in his whole career has got zero technical fouls and just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves,” Fizdale said.
“It was a very poorly officiated basketball game.”
He added: “Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, had zero free throws. But somehow, Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws.
“First half, we shot 19 shots in the paint, and we had six free throws. They shot 11 times in the paint, and they had 23 free throws.
“I’m not a numbers guy, but that doesn’t seem to add up. Overall, 35 times we shot the ball in the paint. We had 15 free throws for the game.
“They shot 18 times in the paint and had 32 free throws. Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team. Explain it to me.”
Game 3 of this Western Conference playoff first round series is Thursday night in Memphis.
San Antonio is 27-2 in playoff series when leading 2-0.