On a night marred by the early exit of Memphis Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol, the San Antonio Spurs grabbed a very impressive road win by a 16-point margin.
Tony Parker led the Spurs in scoring with 20 points (on 8 for 14 shooting), but this was the epitome of a balanced effort that would qualify as extremely “Spurs-like”. The visiting San Antonio squad shot a ridiculous 53% from the field and nearly 42% from the 3-point line, assisting on 25 of their 42 baskets, and generally overwhelming the normally staunch Grizzlies defense.
Obviously, the loss of Gasol was huge, as the 2012-2013 Defensive Player of the Year managed to play just 10 minutes before exiting with injury, and without him, Memphis simply isn’t the same team defensively. Point guard Mike Conley had an electric night, scoring 28 points in 38 minutes (and actually out-dueling Parker in their head-to-head battle), but it wasn’t enough to carry the offensively-challenged Grizzlies, who still have trouble generating consistent shot-making.
Normally, the headline of this night would be the Spurs advancing to 11-1 with a decisive win over what is expected to be a good Memphis team, but tonight, thoughts drift to the health of Marc Gasol, as the long-term prospects of the Grizzlies rest on his health and availability.