NBA Western Conference Finals: Spurs Easily Win Game 1 Over Grizzlies

2013 NBA Finals
2013 NBA Finals
May 19 2013 San Antonio TX USA San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker 9 drives to the basket during the second quarter as Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol 33 defends in game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at ATT Center Troy Taormina USA TODAY Sports

Sunday featured the first game of the Western Conference Finals and the San Antonio Spurs won in convincing fashion over the Memphis Grizzlies. Here’s a look at the game.

Spurs win series opener over Grizzlies, 105-83
Buoyed by a big first quarter, the San Antonio Spurs raced out to a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals with a comfortable 105-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

San Antonio outscored Memphis 31-14 in that first period behind led by Tony Parker. Parker had eight of his team-high 20 points in that quarter and also finished the game with nine assists. Memphis shot well in the quarter, but could stop the Spurs’ offense. Four turnovers didn’t help the Grizzlies as well.

Despite the slow start, Memphis still came back to make a game of it. In the third quarter, the Grizzlies pulled to within six. But San Antonio went on an 11-1 run and increased the gap significantly.

The Spurs emptied their bench with 13 players seeing at least five minutes of action. San Antonio had a big game despite not getting much from future Hall of Famer, Tim Duncan. Duncan pulled in a team-high ten rebounds, but shot only 3-9 from the field and finished with six points. Fortunately for the Spurs, they didn’t need him. In addition to Parker’s 20, four others also finished in double figures, including Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 34 points.

The reason for the big San Antonio advantage was from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies made a respectable 5-12 from three-point range, but San Antonio finished 14-29. Those 14 three-pointers accounted for a whopping 40% of the Spurs’ total points and set a franchise record for the most they’ve ever had in the postseason.

The Grizzlies had some players show up, but their starting forwards both had games to forget. Marc Gasol made sure the frontcourt had at least one strong performance with 15 points and seven rebounds, but Zach Randolph and Tayshaun Prince had games to forget. The duo was 3-13 from the field and finished with only eight points and eight rebounds.

San Antonio is off to a good start in the series, but don’t count out Memphis just yet.. The Grizzlies have lost both of their other series openers in the playoffs this year and still managed to advance. Despite the opening defeat, Memphis still has a chance to reach the NBA Finals.

If Memphis is going to compete, they’ll need their defense to step up. And allowing an NBA-best 89.3 points a game, the Grizzlies are clearly capable of doing that. Look for Memphis to step up the defensive intensity a bit in the next game and challenge more shots.

Game 2 will be Tuesday in San Antonio.

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Anson Whaley
Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');