LAMARCUS Aldridge took charge early before Tony Parker hit some big endgame baskets as the San Antonio Spurs recovered from blowing a huge lead to hold off the Memphis Grizzlies, 126-98, at AT&T Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Aldridge scored 17 of his 23 points in the first three quarters to get San Antonio off to a good start. The Spurs, though, blew a 15-point lead after the Grizzlies went on a 14-5 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to tie the game at 74 with 9:30 remaining. But San Antonio countered with an 11-2 blast to regain control, 85-76, with 4:43 left.
But after the Spurs got the lead back to 10, the Grizzlies kept hanging on, with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol leading the way to get within five, 92-87, at the 48-second mark. Tony Parker, though, hit a huge dagger of a trey to extend the advantage to eight, 85-97, with only 26 ticks left.
Troy Daniels answered with a triple of his own in the next play, taking just six seconds off the clock. But the Spurs held on with some clutch free throws from Kawhi Leonard to win their third straight game.
Leonard had 19 points for the Spurs (55-16), and Patty Mills chipped in 15 off the bench. Parker scored five of his 13 markers within the final two minutes, including his lone triple of the match that proved to be the difference maker as San Antonio avenged its loss to Memphis last Sunday.
Conley led the way for the Grizzlies (40-32), who have lost two straight games, with 22 points. Gasol added 13 markers and 10 rebounds. Memphis fell 1.5 games behind Oklahoma City Thunder for the sixth seed in the West.