Spurs can’t overcome Grizzlies

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Marc Gasol scored 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies took charge in a dreary first half and then held on late to beat the visiting San Antonio Spurs 96-86 on Wednesday to snap a six-game losing streak.

Memphis led by eight heading into the fourth quarter before the Spurs drew to within 76-72 on a 3-pointer by Marco Belinelli with 9:11 to play. The Grizzlies then scored 18 of the next 24 points to push the lead a game-high 16 points and cruised down the stretch to the win.

The Spurs entered the game on a season-high five-game winning streak but never found their stride, losing for just the fourth time in their past 17 contests.

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JaMychal Green also had a double-double for the Grizzlies with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Mike Conley scored 15 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. hit for 12 and Shelvin Mack added 10 points for Memphis.

Belinelli and Bryn Forbes led the Spurs with 14 points each, LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills scored 13 each and Derrick White hit for 12 for San Antonio, which also got 12 rebounds from Pau Gasol in the loss. The Spurs’ 30 field goals and 14 assists were both season lows.

Memphis led 42-31 at intermission following a forgettable first half of basketball and outshot the Spurs 34.8 percent to 27.7 percent during the first two quarters. Marc Gasol had a double-double by halftime with 10 rebounds and 10 points, while Conley also had 10 points for the Grizzlies.

No San Antonio player scored more than six points in the first half, as the Spurs made just 13 shots in the first two periods.

San Antonio’s 31 points in the first 24 minutes of play tied a season low for scoring in a half. But the fact that the Spurs were down only 11 points heading into the third quarter gave them some solace – and a whole lot to build on.

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The Spurs kept working and cut Memphis’ lead to six points in the third quarter before a final Grizzlies’ surge pushed the advantage to 72-64 heading into the final 12 minutes of regulation.

The Spurs travel back to the Alamo City for the second game of a tough road-home back-to-back on Thursday against Oklahoma City. Memphis heads to Miami for a contest against the Heat tomorrow afternoon.

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