The Memphis Grizzlies, everyone's new favorite team to win the Western Conference finals and get to the NBA Championship and perhaps maybe beat the Miami Heat to a Three 6 Mafia soundtrack, just got lit up by the old-ass Spurs, 105-83. It didn't even feel that close, save for a cute third-quarter run that got the Grizzlies within six but was squashed as quickly as it started.
By the start of the fourth, though, Matt Bonner had already finished his grisly work and the league's best-ever victory cigar, Tracy McGrady, was looking down the bench at Gregg Popovich, ready to log some serious burn. (He played seven minutes, pulled down two boards, shot a three-pointer that rimmed out, and got called for a double dribble. He's almost back, y'all!)
So what happened? The big advantage that the Grizzlies had over the Clippers, and the Thunder, and that they ostensibly have over the Spurs, is that Z-Bo and Marc Gasol form the best frontcourt in the league, and they're both huge and strong and mean and vaguely impossible to stop from scoring. The duo was supposed to be able to outplay Tim Duncan and Thiago Splitter in the halfcourt all game long, but there was a hiccup: Z-Bo fucking sucked today.
Memphis's leading scorer only had two points, as many as his teammate, Jon Leuer. You don't even know who that is. Gasol had a decent 15 points and seven rebounds and Mike Conley chipped in with 14 and eight assists, but the Grizzlies were stuck having to lean on Quincy Pondexter off the bench, who hit the all five of the Grizzlies' threes on his way to 17 points. Good for Quincy, but if he's your leading scorer, you're in trouble.
Meanwhile, San Antonio looked fresher and deeper at home. Tony Parker had 20 and 9 assists, Kawhi Leonard had 18 points, and Danny Green had 16 more. Gasol and Z-Bo were actually able to neutralize Duncan and Splitter under the basket, holding them to a combined seven points all game, but too much Matt Bonner.
Bonner went apeshit for 12 points, which doesn't sound like a lot until you realize he scored 12 points all last series against the Warriors. He hit four three-pointers, and the Grizzlies were unable to force San Antonio off the perimeter all game. The Spurs hit 14 total, a franchise playoff record. So to recap, Tony Parker did whatever he wanted, Z-Bo did the opposite of that, Bonner matched his previous five-game output in 17 minutes, and T-Mac Time lasted most of the fourth quarter. That's your ballgame.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.
Photo Credit: Getty