MEMPHIS,Tenn. (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs scored early, often and at a season-bestshooting pace both overall and from 3-point range.
Thecombination, along with 40 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 26 points, plus 10assists from DeMar DeRozan, contributed to a 145-115 rout of the MemphisGrizzlies on Monday night.
SanAntonio shot 67.4% overall, 62.5% from 3-point range and recorded itsseason-high point total. DeRozan would miss only one of his 11 shots; Aldridgewas 17 of 25 from the field. The 67.4% from the field was the best shootingpercentage in an NBA game this season. The 36 assists also were a season high.
“Itwas just one of those nights,” said Aldridge, who also had nine reboundsand five assists. “We’ve had nights where we’ve been on the other end ofit, where we couldn’t throw it in the lake.”
Asthe positive records fell the way of San Antonio, the misery landed on theGrizzlies. The 145 points were the most ever given up by the franchise, and the46 first-quarter points by the Spurs were the most ever scored against theGrizzlies in a quarter.
“Theyplayed unbelievable tonight,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said, lateradding: “They had a response for everything we were throwing out therecoverage-wise, schematic-wise. …They had a heck of a shooting night, especiallyfrom the midrange, the rim, the 3s, all that.”
TreyLyles finished with 17 points and Dejounte Murray scored 14 for the Spurs.
JarenJackson Jr. scored 22 points for Memphis, converting 8 of 14 shots and 6 of 9from 3-point range. Rookie Ja Morant finished with 19 points, and JonasValanciunas had 18 points and 12 rebounds as Memphis lost for the third time inthe last four.
TheSpurs were uncanny in their shooting accuracy from the start, connecting at 79%in the first quarter — and that included missing their final two shots in theperiod. While San Antonio couldn’t keep that pace, it dropped only slightly.The Spurs were 31 of 42 in the second half (73.8%) and made 7 of 12 3-pointers.
“Itis just about letting that build our confidence,” DeRozan said. “Goout there and be consistent. Go out that and play like this – especially on thedefensive end – every single night.”
Withthe Spurs shooting, Memphis never really had a chance at overtaking San Antonioonce the first-quarter lead reached 19. There were a few times the Grizzliesgot the deficit under double-digits in the second half but never less thaneight. The San Antonio lead eventually swelled to the final 30-point margin.
“Theyhave a lot of shooters,” Morant said. “All shot it great. It’s hardwhen they are hitting a lot of shots. … It’s rare for a team to shoot how theyshot.”
Spurs:Hit 19 of their first 22 shots. The streak of made baskets went so long thatonce Aldridge missed a shot late in the first quarter, it drew a loud cheerfrom the Memphis faithful. … Aldridge reached at least 30 points for the fourthtime this season. … Marco Belinelli had 10 points.
Grizzlies:Valanciunas returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s gameagainst Sacramento with right foot soreness. He recorded his 16thdouble-double. …The 145 points given up by Memphis were the most this season.The previous high was 138 by Dallas on Nov. 9.
NOTTHE WORST NIGHT
The30-point loss was not the worst of the season for Memphis. The Grizzlies lostby 32 at Orlando, 118-86, on Nov. 8. “Defense is the thing we hit all thetime,” Jenkins said. “Not trying to downplay this, but it’s been 30games and this is the first time (in a while) that we’ve gotten our rear endhanded to us.”
TheSpurs were in a similar situation to the Grizzlies on Saturday when they lostat home to the Clippers 134-109. And, even a coach of few words, like SanAntonio’s Gregg Popovich, recognized the swing in fortunes. “(LaMarcus)and DeMar led the way. It was great to see the whole team jump in. We had a badgame last game. This is the way you react to something like that.”
Spurs:Travel to Dallas to play the Mavericks on Thursday.
Grizzlies:Play at Oklahoma City on Thursday.