Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs (-5.5, 194.5)
The San Antonio Spurs are dealing with distractions associated with Gregg Popovich’s decision to rest four of his better players on Thursday and will look to sidestep the chaos when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. The organization was fined $250,000 by NBA commissioner David Stern on Friday, one day after Popovich had Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green fly home prior to Thursday’s game in Miami to rest up for the Grizzlies.
Memphis has the best record in the NBA and enters with a four-game winning streak. The Grizzlies are playing just their sixth road game – they are 4-1 – when they go up against the Spurs. “We’ve been playing pretty decent all year long at home,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “It was a long homestand. It’s probably time to go back on the road. It’s not easy on the road, but I think your juices get flowing and you get stale being at home.” San Antonio is 4-2 at home but hasn’t played at the AT&T Center since losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 19.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, SportsSouth (Memphis), KENS (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (12-2): Memphis gave up just 78 points in Friday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons, matching a season-low for points allowed set against the Cleveland Cavaliers two games earlier. The Grizzlies forced 22 turnovers with point guard Mike Conley racking up a season-high six steals to raise his season average to 2.46 per game. Memphis has held 13 consecutive opponents under 100 since giving up 101 in a season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies lead the league by allowing just 90.1 points per game.
ABOUT THE SPURS (13-4): San Antonio’s reserves gave the Heat quite a battle before falling 105-100. The Spurs were playing their fourth game in five nights – all on the road – and Popovich decided it was more important to have his key players well-rested for the Grizzlies than have them play against Miami. Gary Neal scored a team-high 20 points and Tiago Splitter tallied 18 as five San Antonio players scored in double figures. “Pop is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs,” Neal said. “He did what’s best for us.”
* Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games.
* Under is 5-1 in Grizzlies’ last six overall.
* Over is 6-0 in Spurs’ last six overall.
* Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings.
1. The Grizzlies are just 1-15 over their last 16 regular-season visits to San Antonio.
2. Ginobili scored 20 points and drained six 3-pointers in Thursday’s rout of the Orlando Magic.
3. Memphis has allowed just 79.3 points over their last three games.