NBA Wrap: Leonard hits 32 points, Spurs rout Grizzlies 111-82 in Game 1

Kawhi Leonard matched his postseason high with 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 111-82 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points, and Tony Parker added 18 to help San Antonio win its ninth straight over Memphis in the postseason.

Marc Gasol had 32 points, but only seven in the second half as the Grizzlies fell behind by as many as 36 points. Mike Conley was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures, finishing with 13.

Memphis was without defensive lynchpin Tony Allen. He’s out indefinitely with a calf injury, and Leonard took advantage for his fourth career playoff game of 30-plus points.

Game 2 is Monday night in San Antonio.

Leonard has emerged as the Spurs’ primary offensive threat and they needed his ability to score in traffic against the Grizzlies.

Amid chants of ”MVP! MVP!” Leonard scored 15 points in the third quarter as the Spurs built a 20-point lead. His pull-up jumper off an isolation against James Ennis III gave San Antonio an 84-64 lead to close the third, erasing a 13-point deficit in the first half.

Leonard was 4 for 5 from the field in the third quarter and made all seven of his free throws in the third.

The Grizzlies made their first five shots and first four 3-pointers in racing to an 18-7 lead. Gasol hit a turnaround jumper and 3-pointer on Dewayne Dedmon to open the game.

San Antonio would not take its first lead until there was 8:53 remaining in the second quarter, but raced to victory once it did.

After falling behind 28-15 with two minutes left in the first quarter, the Spurs outscored the Grizzlies by 42 points over the next two quarter, including a 19-0 run to bring the third and fourth periods.

In the other playoff games, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points and rookie Malcolm Brogdon added 16 as the Bucks beat the Raptors 97-83 in Game 1 of their first-round series.

”Our second half was just abysmal,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. ”We didn’t play with any pace, any rhythm, any movement. You keep playing that way, it’s always going to bite you in the behind and that’s what happened to us tonight.”

The Raptors have lost the opening game in eight consecutive playoff series.

In LA, the Utah Jazz beat the Clippers 97-95 thanks to a game-winning shot form Joe Johnson despite losing starting center Rudy Gobert to a sprained knee on the first possession of the game.

Johnson hit 21 points from off the bench while Gordon Hayward added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 26 points with Chris Paul adding 25.

All the results from Saturday’s playoff games:

Indiana Pacers 108-109 Cleveland Cavaliers (Game 1)
Milwaukee Bucks 97-83 Toronto Raptors (Game 1)
Memphis Grizzlies 82-111 San Antonio Spurs (Game 1)
Utah Jazz 97-95 Los Angeles Clippers

Comments