The San Antonio Spurs survived and with much margin for error at that, despite Tim Duncan going 3-of-9 from the floor and scoring six points. They dropped the Memphis Grizzlies, 105-83, behind a three-point shooting blitz that was set up in the first quarter and finished off with a 32-point final quarter.
A 14-for-29 shooting night from long range gave the Spurs a Game 1 victory in the Western Conference Finals. It didn't matter that San Antonio's big men didn't do much offensively, because Tony Parker set the tone for what became a feeding frenzy for the Spurs' three-point specialists.
"Tony Parker came out really aggressive in the pick-and-rolls; we weren't in the places we were supposed to be," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We over-helped. We were so hyper, just running all over the place on defense."
The problems visually appeared as a vacuum when the Grizzlies were sucked into the paint and slow to recover once the ball was shot back out. But it wasn't only mismatches or rotational troubles. The Grizzlies weren't communicating with one another. Multiple times, two Memphis players ended up chasing after the ball handler off pick-and-pops, leaving the screen man wide open.
"Especially defensively, the way it was supposed to be, we didn't communicate like we're supposed to against a team like San Antonio," Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol said. "Whatever it was, they made us pay."
Matt Bonner led the way with a 4-for-6 shooting effort from deep. His 12 points led the bench unit that also included Gary Neal's 11 points and Manu Ginobili's eight.
Parker scored 20 points and recorded nine assists, and Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green drifted around the three-point stripe throughout the game to take advantage of the Frenchman's dribble-drives. Leonard scored 18 points and went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc while Green added 16 with a trio of three-point hits.
While the Grizzlies were quick to blame themselves, Parker deemed the hot shooting outing as just one of those games. At the same time, he credited his Spurs for getting back to the type of ball that got them to the playoffs in the first place. That would be unselfish basketball -- the 40 made shots on 28 assists were a sign that they'd found their groove once again.
"(We) got away a little bit in the first couple games against Golden State," Parker said. "We have to stick with that (type of passing). That's who we are.
"Ball movement was great tonight. Shot the ball very well," he added. "We know that is not going to happen every game."
Source: All quotes via NBA.com's live postgame media stream.