The Spurs took a seven-point lead into overtime and managed to hold off a late rally by the Grizzlies to claim their 14th victory of the season.
The contest was back and fourth in the first half, but the Grizzlies outscored the Spurs by 12 in the third quarter to open things up. However, San Antonio clawed back and hit a game-tying three-pointer with under a minute left to send the contest into overtime.
The Spurs were led by Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who scored 30 and 27 points. Memphis relied on a team effort offensively, as Darrell Arthur (10), Rudy Gay (15), Zach Randolph (17), Mike Conley Jr. (18) and Marc Gasol (20) all finished with double-digit scoring totals.
This contest received significant attention given the events leading up to tip-off. Thursday night, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich started a league-wide controversy when he elected not to play three starters, including Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Danny Green, as well as key bench player Manu Ginobili, against the Miami Heat.
Miami was San Antonio’s sixth road game in the past nine days, and Popovich was hoping to rest players in preparation of tonight’s showdown against Memphis.
The Spurs entered the game trailing the Grizzlies by half of a game in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. San Antonio forward Danny Green exited the game and didn’t return due to a left hamstring injury.