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Spurs take care of business, halt Grizzlies’ streak

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — To hear Tim Duncan tell it, the San Antonio Spurs didn’t do anything all that special Friday night at FedExForum.

Yet Duncan posted a triple-double as the Spurs defeated the Grizzlies 107-101, stopping their 22-game home winning streak that dated to Feb. 5 of last season.

The Spurs got the shots they wanted when they wanted as Duncan finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was the fourth regular-season triple-double of his career and first since November of 2010.

“We are unselfish,” Duncan said. “We did a good job of moving the ball side to side and not letting them get set up.”

Center Marc Gasol (28 points and 12 rebounds) believed the Grizzlies (15-4) gave good effort, just not good enough to beat the defending NBA champions.

“For stretches, I think we did a pretty good job matching their intensity,” Gasol said. “But in stretches we didn’t make shots. They have so many reads and counters, they burn you.”

The Spurs (14-5) scorched the Grizzlies from deep as they tied their season high with 14 made 3-pointers. They shot 56 percent (14-for-25). Center Matt Bonner (nine points) hit 3 of 6. Guard Manu Ginobili finished with 17 points, going 5-for-5 from 3-point range. Ginobili also had seven assists and six rebounds. Guard Danny Green scored 16 points and was 3-for-5 from long distance.

“We’re not the most athletic team,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. “We make (defensive) efforts and if we get too far committed to the ball or the roller, then they’ll make you pay. They’re a great passing team. They hit guys on the handle and guys are ready to shoot.”

The Spurs have now won 15 of the last 17 meetings with the Grizzlies and nine straight, going back to their sweep of the Grizzlies two seasons ago in the Western Conference Finals.

“I know we’ve been successful,” Ginobili said. “I don’t know if we frustrate them.”

Take it from Memphis point guard Mike Conley (23 points and 10 assists), they do.

“It is frustrating because we thrive on defense, creating turnovers and easy buckets,” Conley said.

The Grizzlies got just 10 points off 14 San Antonio turnovers and the Spurs finished with 25 assists.

It wasn’t all good news for the Spurs. Point guard Tony Parker scored 14 points for the Spurs in 23 minutes before leaving the game in the third quarter with a mild left hamstring strain.

The Grizzlies got a season-high 20 points off the bench from forward Tayshaun Prince. Memphis trailed 69-64 at the 3:47 mark in the third quarter after a driving layup from power forward Zach Randolph (10 points, eight rebounds).

But the Spurs outscored them 9-4 the rest of the quarter as guard Marco Belinelli knocked down two 3s and Ginobili hit one for a 78-68 lead going into the final frame.

Memphis cut it to four — 103-99 — with 21 seconds left in the game on a Gasol dunk. But the Spurs closed things out from there. They shot 47.6 percent from the floor (40-of-84). Memphis shot 46.3 percent (27-for-80).

NOTES: Grizzlies C Marc Gasol, who is averaging a career-best 19.4 points per game along with 8.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists, suffered a bone bruise on his right knee at Houston last Wednesday. An MRI revealed no structural damage and Gasol’s status was up in the air until game time. … Spurs PG Tony Parker is one of three NBA players averaging 15 or more points (16.8) and five-plus assists (5.7) while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor (50.9 percent).

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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