Spurs rout Grizzlies 116-95, sweep their way to semifinals

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Source:   —  April 25, 2016, at 4:31 AM

Kawhi Leonard scored twenty-one points as the Spurs routed the Memphis Grizzlies 116-95 on Sunday, sweeping the best-of-seven first-round series."It wasn't a objective fight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of playing a team that set an NBA record with twenty-eight Grizzlies playing this season.

Spurs rout Grizzlies 116-95, sweep their way to semifinals

The San Antonio Spurs have swept their way into the Western Conference semifinals after an nearly perfunctory, yet very physical test from the most injury-depleted team ever in the NBA playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard scored twenty-one points as the Spurs routed the Memphis Grizzlies 116-95 on Sunday, sweeping the best-of-seven first-round series.

"It wasn't a objective fight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of playing a team that set an NBA record with twenty-eight Grizzlies playing this season. "Whoever was available came out and played, and they executed to the best of their ability. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of fortitude."

The Spurs finished off their ninth sweep of a postseason series in franchise history, their third against the Grizzlies. San Antonio also swept Memphis in the two thousand four first circular and the two thousand thirteen Western Conference finals.

"They play very physical, so it'south a excellent test for the following round," Spurs guard Tony Parker said.

The only thing that delayed the Spurs advancing was a power surge that knocked out the lights, stopping the game for about twenty minutes in the second quarter.

San Antonio presently awaits the winner of OK City-Dallas, a best-of-seven series that the Thunder lead three-1.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored fifteen points and grabbed ten rebounds for the Spurs. Parker finished with sixteen points. David W had 11.

Lance Stephenson scored twenty-six points off the bench for the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph and Matt Barnes each had fifteen points and Vince Carter fourteen.

This is the third time in the past six postseasons the Grizzlies have been ousted in the first circular but the first in that stretch in which they didn't at minimum thrust the series to a Game seven. Fans saluted the Grizzlies, holding up towels that read "ALL HEART" as the game ended, and Memphis coach Dave Joerger was very emotional when he talked to reporters.

"This season has been hard, it'south been really hard," Joerger said. "They could've quit, could've not made the playoffs. And every day they came out and fought like crazy."

The Grizzlies had plenty of reasons to wish an finish to what's been a painful slog to the finish of the season. But Joerger wanted at minimum one playoff triumph to reward his players for their tough work and fight. The Grizzlies didn't obtain the win, but they did play tight and gritty defense to force five lead changes and ten ties through the first half.

The Spurs finished the quarter with a 10-2 running for a 25-nineteen lead after the first.

The game was delayed for 19 minutes when the lights went out with 10:02 left in the second quarter because of a voltage issue that knocked out power to parts of downtown Memphis for fifteen minutes. Play stopped, though backup generators kept some lights on. The Spurs and Grizzlies stretched and stayed warm by shooting until the game resumed.

After the lights came back on, Memphis matched its biggest lead at thirty-four-31 on a pair of free throws by Chris Andersen with 6:19 left. Stephenson helped hold the Grizzlies near with twelve points in the quarter, and the Spurs even lost a 3 by Leonard after a review showed the shot came after a shot-clock violation, and they led only 47-45 at halftime to give Memphis fans hope.

"We just went down swinging, and that'south all you can ask for," Randolph said.

Then San Antonio, which went 67-15 during the regular season, took control. The Spurs opened the third quarter with a twenty-two-eight running and finished by hitting 14 of twenty-two of their shots to outscore Memphis 37-21. The exhaustion finally caught up with the Grizzlies, who hit only 8 of 22 in the quarter.

"It'south always tough to near out a game," Parker said. "I felt love they gave everything in the first half, but the energy in the third quarter and fourth quarter we really dominated."

TIP-INS

Spurs: With his ninth postseason series sweep, coach Gregg Popovich presently leads all coaches in that category. He'd been tied with Phil Jackson for the most seven-game series playoff sweeps... With this game, Tim Duncan presently ranks second in most playoff games, with two hundred forty-five, trailing only Derek Fisher (two hundred fifty-nine). Duncan, who turns forty on Monday, broke a tie for second with Robert Horry... The Spurs outrebounded Memphis 41-36 and had a 50-38 edge in scoring in the paint... All who played scored except Andre Miller.

Grizzlies: This was the fifth time in franchise history Memphis has been swept... Barnes played forty-four minutes, 34 seconds... Andersen tied his season-high with thirteen rebounds... Guard Mike Conley was presented with the Joe Dumars award for sportsmanship before tipoff, his second in his nine-year career.

POWER OUTAGE

Barnes said the lights going out reminded him of the Super Bowl between San Francisco and Baltimore. "I was hoping we were going to do what they did and arrive back and win," Barnes said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that."

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