|Date of game: 3/29/2015
Recap: San Antonio vs. Memphis
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Behind a monster fourth quarter keyed by Kawhi Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs further tightened an already close race in the Southwest Division.
Leonard scored 15 of his game-high 25 points over a six-minute stretch in the final frame, helping the surging Spurs pull away for a 103-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The win, San Antonio's sixth in seven outings, knocked the scuffling Grizzlies out of first place in the division and moved the Spurs to three games back of new leader Houston.
Tony Parker added 17 points -- 15 of which came in the second half -- and Tiago Splitter had 15 points along with eight rebounds in a game San Antonio never trailed, though it didn't draw clear until crunch time.
Memphis, coming off back-to-back lopsided home losses to Cleveland and Golden State, received 20 points and 13 rebounds from Zach Randolph and a 19-point effort out of Jeff Green. Mike Conley struggled, however, with the point guard managing just six points on 2-of-11 shooting.
"These last three games we got the best of each team," Green said. "It's not going to be easy, the route we're trying to get to. We've just got to stay positive and stay together."
The Grizzlies were down just 70-66 entering the fourth, but couldn't stop Leonard or the Spurs -- who shot a torrid 72.2 percent over the last 12 minutes -- down the stretch.
Leonard hit two free throws and sank a turnaround jumper to quickly push the lead to eight, then buried two more baskets after Green drained a 3-pointer to give San Antonio a 78-69 advantage.
"We went to him and he went to himself," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of Leonard. "He was rolling and he felt it."
He wasn't finished, knocking down a corner trey that was followed by Parker's layup and free throw that had the Spurs up 88-75 with seven minutes remaining. A three-point play from Splitter shortly afterward extended the lead to 93-77 with 5:57 to go.
"What Kawhi did today, it was incredible," said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili. "It was fun to watch."
The Spurs were sharp from the get-go as well, hitting seven of their first 10 shots and opening up a 14-4 advantage on Tim Duncan's run-out dunk just over four minutes in.
Memphis countered with five straight points and climbed within 28-21 after one quarter, with Randolph posting 10 on 5-of-7 shooting for the frame. The Grizzlies then cut the margin to two on consecutive buckets from Green, the last a three-point play, to begin the second.
San Antonio began to reassume control late in the first half, however. An 8-0 spurt extended its margin to 49-39 with two minutes left in the second quarter, and the Spurs wound up taking a 51-42 advantage into the break.
Despite trailing by as many as 13, Memphis continued to stay within striking distance in the third quarter. The Grizzlies got back in it by putting forth a 14-4 sequence, beginning with a pair of Marc Gasol buckets and ending with a Beno Udrih 3-pointer, to trim the lead to 63-60 with under four minutes to go in the stanza.Game Notes
Gasol finished with 16 points but netted just six through the first three
quarters ... Memphis has now lost in 11 of its last 12 visits to San Antonio,
with its lone win over that span coming in triple overtime back on Dec. 17 ...
The Spurs have won five straight and 11 of their last 12 at AT&T Center ...
Leonard added 10 rebounds and the Spurs topped Memphis by a 48-34 margin on