SAN ANTONIO SPURS
at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Western Conference Playoffs – First Round
Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Tip-off: Saturday, 7:35 p.m. EDT
Line: Memphis -2, Total: 192
After coming close to taking a shocking 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series with San Antonio, the eighth-seeded Grizzlies instead head home for Saturday’s Game 3 in a 1-1 deadlock with the Spurs.
San Antonio was able to bottle up Memphis big man Zach Randolph on Wednesday, holding him to just 11 points and five rebounds, while Marc Gasol was limited to 12 points. The duo was a combined 7-of-23 from the floor in Wednesday night’s 93-87 Game 2 loss after having helped Memphis lead the NBA this season with a per-game average of 51.5 points in the paint. The Grizzlies instead ended up settling for far more jump shots than usual, which resulted in them shooting under 40 percent Wednesday night, far below their usual 47 percent shooting. Randolph knows one way the Grizzlies can improve immediately.
“We’ve just got to get the ball to the paint,” Randolph said. “We’ve got to drive the basketball. We can’t settle for jump shots. I don’t think they did nothing different. We just didn’t try to get the ball down there.”
The Spurs took Thursday off, taking advantage of the two-day break between games and the chance to rest up in what’s already a very physical series. Spurs center Tim Duncan said Memphis is the toughest No. 8 seed he’s seen in a long time.
“More than anything those guys have a nose for the ball,” Duncan said. “Even when we do get stops, they find a way to get second and third chances on the board. They never quit.”
The Spurs have had a big edge at the free-throw line so far, taking advantage of the physical Grizzlies. San Antonio hit more free throws (22-of-32) than Memphis attempted (14-of-20) in Game 2. Manu Ginobili provided a big boost to the Spurs, returning Wednesday night after having sat out Game 1, scoring 17 points with his sprained right elbow wrapped in a brace.
Memphis has had San Antonio’s number lately, going 4-3 SU and a perfect 7-0 ATS in the teams’ last seven meetings dating back to their final regular-season matchup of 2009-10. The Game 3 line opened at Pick, but has since moved to the Grizzlies by 2, indicating that the smart money is backing Memphis. This following four-star trend from the FoxSheets also likes the Grizzlies to prevail in Game 3:
MEMPHIS is 15-2 ATS (88.2%, +12.8 Units) after playing 2 consecutive road games this season. The average score was MEMPHIS 101.9, OPPONENT 95.4 - (Rating = 4*).