SAN ANTONIO – Final Update: Spurs beat Memphis in Game 1, 111-82. Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and Tony Parker added 18. Spurs dominated in second half to open game. Game 2 is Monday night at AT&T Center.
End of Third Quarter Update: Spurs lead the Grizzlies 84-64 as they head into the fourth quarter. Kahwi Leonard took over the game in the third quarter. He now has 32. Danny Green has shut down Mike Conley, since he was asked to defend him. Spurs up big in Game 1.
End of Second Quarter Update: Spurs lead Grizzlies 52-49. Spurs were down by double digits, but regained the lead after a big second quarter from Tony Parker, who has 12. Kawhi Leonard has 17 points, and Marc Gasol has 25 for Memphis.
End of First Quarter Update: Spurs down to Grizzlies 30-25. Kawhi Leonard leads Spurs with 11 points. Spurs have allowed Memphis to shoot 68 percent from the floor.
When the San Antonio Spurs host the Memphis Grizzlies in the first playoff game of the first round in the Western Conference, it will be the fifth time these two teams have met this season.
Three of those times were over the last 15 games of the regular season. The teams split the season series, 2-2.
The Spurs and Grizzlies have also face each other four previous times in the playoffs. The Spurs won three of the matchups, sweeping the Grizzlies all three times.
The old saying goes, "familiarity breeds contempt", not with this bunch.
"I have been seeing those guys too often lately," said Manu Ginobili.
"Coming out strong and solid in this first game is very important, it's the playoffs, it's different, another season now," said Patty Mills.
"About as ready as we can get, seen them a lot and we know what to expect," said Mike Conley. "Know the championship pedigree they have and the mindset they have coming into the playoffs so we are looking to match that intensity try to stick to our game plan steal one on the road here."
That challenge just got tougher with loss of their best defender Tony Allen to a calf injury probably for the series.
"I am sure they are going to miss him and we've got to help them miss him," Ginobili said. "It sucks that he is out, it sucks for them they are a wounded animal but still very dangerous," said Danny Green.
That danger comes from their defense. They are one of the top defensive teams in the league.
They get down right physical and that is something the Spurs are going to have to be ready for.
"It's the old school blue collar basketball just grind you all night," Mills said.
One way they can do that is not let that physical play distract them, start worrying about calls, or no calls, and just stick to their game plan.
"Guys know how to handle themselves they are professional especially from years past the founding fathers lead the way of how to conduct themselves everybody follows that suit," Green said.
"If anything we have to worry about Pop, its hard t o keep him off the referees sometimes but we let him do that that's his job to get on the referees."
While this is the fifth playoff series for these two teams it will mark the first time brothers Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol have faced each other in the playoffs.
"At the end of the day you keep things in perspective and try to keep emotions out of it and you just compete and do what ever it takes to win," said Pau Gasol.
While the two brothers will be wrapped up in trying to help their teams win, their parents will be the ones having a hard time dealing with their sons facing off against each other in the playoffs.
"They have always been proud to have two brothers at this level but they don't enjoy the games we play too much because they suffer they don't want us to get hurt, one is going to be happy after the game, one is going to be upset so you feel for the one who's upset," Gasol said.