Tied at 1-1 Spurs-Grizzlies Series Shifts to Memphis for Game #3

2011 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game #3
#1 San Antonio Spurs at #8 Memphis Grizzlies (Series Tied 1-1)
Best of Seven Series Format 2-2-1-1-1
FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, April 23, 2011, 7:35 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Pick
Current Line: Grizzlies -2
Opening Total: 192
Current Total: 191
Money Line: Grizzlies -130 / Spurs +110

Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies host the Spurs in game #3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals with the series tied at one game apiece. Memphis is a 2 point favorite at home.

Playing without Manu Ginobli, San Antonio lost game #1 in this series 101-98 giving Memphis their first ever playoff win and home court advantage in the series. Ginobli returned for game #2 and the Spurs rebounded with a 93-87 win. Now the series shifts to Memphis for games 3 and 4, for what should be a raucous crowd. Both games are sellouts. Memphis has been tough at home winning 30 games this season at the FedEx Forum.

The Spurs are not the same team without Ginobli. After missing game #1, he scored 17 points, got 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals in gmae 2 Wednesday night. He went to the free throw line 13 times and converted 7 of them. Tim Duncan added 16 points, had 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in the win. Small forward Richard Jefferson also had 16 points and pulled down 4 rebounds. Tony Parker had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists. George Hill added 16 points off the bench, along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in the win. The Spurs shot just under 44% from the field. San Antonio pulled down 48 rebounds, plus had 21 assists and 18 turnovers.

Though all 5 Grizzly starters scored in double figures, the bench only scored a total of 19 points. After both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored over 24 points in the first game and also pulled down at least 9 rebounds. However with Ginobli’s return, both combined for only 23 total points. Randolph scored 11 points and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Guard Sam Young led the Grizzlies with 17 points. Tony Allen scored 15 points in the losing effort. Gasol scored only 12 points but did have a huge night on the boards pulling down 17 rebounds. Point guard Mike Conley scored 13 points, and added 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The Grizzlies shot under 40% for the game, had 47 rebounds, 17 assists, and 14  turnovers.

The Spurs are 9-5 straight up against Memphis in the last 14 meetings, but the  Grizzlies are 9-5 ATS in those games. The over is 8-6 in those games. Memphis is 54-29 ATS in all games this season, including 26-14 at home, 14-4 versus division opponents, 28-12 versus teams they lost to earlier in the  season, 8-0 after 3 or more consecutive road games, 30-14 versus teams with winning records, and 33-14 against teams scoring 99 points or more per game. The Spurs are 45-37 ATS in all games this season, including 26-14 on the road and 8-1 in road games where the total is between 190-195.

Memphis forward Rudy Gay is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Guard Jason Williams retired earlier this week with a back injury but hasn’t played for most of the season. Grizzlies’ guard Xavier Henry is out indefinitely as well.

Expect this to be a physical game as the other two were very physical. Grizzlies guard Tony Allen had this to say about what he expects in game 3.
“I like how the referees have been calling the games the last two games,” Allen said after practice Friday. “They’ve been letting us actually go out and you know play backyard basketball. Surprised me, but I love it, so it could be a physical game again. I’m looking forward to joining in.” San Antonio has gotten way more calls as the refs have called 79 fouls on Memphis and only 53 on San Antonio. That is partly because the Spurs were at home and the home team gets most of the calls but also because Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have been so aggressive going to the hoop. The Grizzlies must keep them off the free throw line as much as possible, but it won’t be easy. The Spurs are a veteran team whose head coach Greg Popovich and aging superstar Tim Duncan have won 4 championships. They certainly won’t panic about having to win on the road. I think the Spurs reclaim home court advantage in another close hard-fought game.

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