Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Spurs Wallop Grizzlies, 145-115

Posted By on Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 1:09 PM

Monday, it just wasn’t the Grizzlies' night. Efficient shooting from the Spurs was too much for Memphis to overcome, as the Spurs trounced the home team, 145–115. 

In the first quarter, the Spurs shot 79.2 (19–of-24) percent from the field and went 6 of 7 from three (85.7 percent) and scored a season-high 46 points. The Spurs only missed five shots in the first period. 

Lamarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 40 points, and was red-hot from the field in the first period, scoring 22 points while shooting 10–13 from the field. When Aldridge finally missed, cheers erupted at the FedExForum. The Seven-time All-Star was 17 of 25 from the floor for the night, and earned the eighth 40-plus-point game of his career. 

DeMar DeRozan also almost had a perfect night for the Spurs. The former USC guard went 10-of-11 from the field and ended with 26 points, 10 assists, and three steals. 

“When the shot is dropping, he’s unstoppable,” said DeRozan on Aldridge's big night. “We were able to get everything we wanted from there, guys cutting, finding spots, because they (the Grizzlies) were so worried about trying to play the one on one. We all just caught the rhythm from there”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was pleased with his team’s effort. “He (Aldridge) and DeMar (DeRozan) led the way tonight, said Popovich. “It was great to see the whole team jump in. We had a bad game last game. This is the way you react to something like that. I was really proud and happy for them.”

Jaren Jackson, Jr. led the way for Memphis with 22 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Jackson has hit five or more 3-pointers in five games this season. Ja Morant added 19 points and four assists in 30 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas posted his 16 double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. 

Notable Stats

The Spurs’ 145 points were the most points ever allowed by the Grizzlies. The previous high for points allowed was 141, scored by the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 30, 2017.

San Antonio shot 67.4 percent from the field, which is the best total-game shooting percentage in the NBA this season. 

Both the Grizzlies and the Spurs finished with double-digit three-pointers. Memphis went 15-of-37 (47 percent) and San Antonio 15-of-24 (62 percent).

The Spurs won the points in the paint battle against Memphis 60–56 (+4).

The Grizzlies outscored the Spurs in second-chance points 21–7 (+14).

Rebounding was an issue for the Grizzlies, Spurs had a +11 advantage, 46–35. However, the Grizzlies had more offensive rebounds, 11–4. 

Quotes from Ja Morant

On tonight’s game:

“They shot the ball great. I think they were about 60 percent. Some shots were contested, some weren’t. Any game we can get better, though.”

On defending the Spurs:

“They have a lot of shooters. And all shot it great. It’s hard when they’re hitting a lot of shots. That kind of hurt us on the offensive end when we’re not able to get out and run and get in transition. It’s tough. We just have to learn from it.”

On the Spurs’ pace:

“It was just calm. Sometimes they push. They were just real smart with the ball tonight. They were just capitalizing on our mistakes defensively. It was a great night for them.”

On if he assumes Jaren Jackson Jr. will make three-pointers:

“Yeah, that’s with anybody on my team. I believe in everybody unless I’m already under the goal. Most of the time in my mind, I believe it’s going in. If they miss, they all probably can tell you that I say the next one is going in. It’s just my mindset, my motto  —  just keep shooting and believe in every shot.”

On why it’s rare for the Grizzlies to lose by a big margin:

“I think it goes to them on their shooting night. It’s rare for a team to shoot [the way] they shot tonight. That allowed them to win by 30.”

Rookie of the Month Honors

Before the game, Morant received his Rookie of the Month honors for October and November. 

The award means a lot for the first-year player. "It’s special  —  I had to shy away from it real quick because it was game time, Morant said of his award after the game. "It’s a special thing. A couple years ago, who would’ve thought I would be in this position right now to even win that award? My family and I have been through a lot, overcome a lot. I just kept pushing. Nobody allowed me to quit and I didn’t allow myself to quit. It shows that hard work pays off."

Up Next

The Grizzlies travel to Oklahoma City for a rematch with the Thunder Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7 pm CST at Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

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