Leonard drops 32 as Spurs rout Grizzlies in game 1
SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard matched his postseason high with 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 111-82 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points, and Tony Parker added 18 to help San Antonio win its ninth straight over Memphis in the postseason.
Marc Gasol had 32 points, but only seven in the second half as the Grizzlies fell behind by as many as 36 points. Mike Conley was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures, finishing with 13.
Memphis was without defensive lynchpin Tony Allen. He’s out indefinitely with a calf injury, and Leonard took advantage for his fourth career playoff game of 30-plus points.
Game 2 is Monday night in San Antonio.
Leonard has emerged as the Spurs’ primary offensive threat and they needed his ability to score in traffic against the Grizzlies.
Amid chants of “MVP! MVP!” Leonard scored 15 points in the third quarter as the Spurs built a 20-point lead. His pull-up jumper off an isolation against James Ennis III gave San Antonio an 84-64 lead to close the third, erasing a 13-point deficit in the first half.
Leonard was 4 for 5 from the field in the third quarter and made all seven of his free throws in the third.
The Grizzlies made their first five shots and first four 3-pointers in racing to an 18-7 lead. Gasol hit a turnaround jumper and 3-pointer on Dewayne Dedmon to open the game.
San Antonio would not take its first lead until there was 8:53 remaining in the second quarter, but raced to victory once it did.
After falling behind 28-15 with two minutes left in the first quarter, the Spurs outscored the Grizzlies by 42 points over the next two quarter, including a 19-0 run to bring the third and fourth periods.
Grizzlies: Allen is out indefinitely with a strained right calf. The 13-year veteran suffered the injury when he was kicked in the calf during the first quarter of Memphis’ regular-season finale against Dallas. … The Grizzlies last postseason victory over the Spurs was a 99-91 victory April 29, 2011. The victory knocked the then top-seeded San Antonio out in six games in the opening round. … Gasol’s previous high against the Spurs was 28 points in a 107-101 loss on Dec. 15, 2014. … Vince Carter has played in 83 career postseason games over 11 seasons, starting 61 times. He has played in four games or less in four of those postseasons.
Spurs: San Antonio is 15-4 against Memphis in the postseason. … Manu Ginobili suffered a small cut under his left eye late in the first half that forced him to the locker room, but he returned for the second half. … The Spurs have opened the postseason on the road just twice in 15 years since moving into the AT&T Center in 2003. … Ginobili has 309 3-pointers in his postseason career, third behind Ray Allen (385) and Reggie Miller (320) in league history.
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