SAN ANTONIO —
The Spurs asserted themselves early, scoring on their first seven possessions and also getting a couple head-to-head defensive stops from their veterans while claiming a quick 23-8 lead. Parker swiped the ball from Conley on Memphis’ second possession, running out for a layup, and Hollins burned a timeout in the first 2 minutes.
Tim Duncan snuffed out the ensuing play by blocking Randolph’s shot, and the Spurs’ strong start continued. Bonner hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 17-point edge late in the first quarter, and San Antonio pushed out to a 43-23 advantage following consecutive baskets by Parker with 6:06 left before halftime.
It was the largest first-half deficit for the Grizzlies during the playoffs.
“Every time we made a mistake defensively, they made us pay every time,” Gasol said, who had three baskets in a push that helped Memphis get within 51-37 at halftime. “It was over-help or no help or whatever it was, they made you pay.”
Notes: Memphis’ only other deficit larger than 20 this postseason came in the first-round opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. L.A. didn’t lead by 20 until the final minute of a 112-91 victory. ... Tracy McGrady got a standing ovation when he checked in with the Spurs up by 20 midway through the fourth quarter. ... The Spurs had 13 3-pointers in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Clippers in last year’s playoffs.