SAN ANTONIO – It is what we have pretty much come to expect from a San Antonio Spurs-Memphis Grizzlies battle.
Tough, physical and down to the wire -- and more often than not a Spurs win.
That is how it was as the Spurs beat the Grizzlies, 104 to 95.
It is also what we have come to expect from LaMarcus Aldridge this season, another All-Star type performance.
"The same as all year, he has been an All-Star. The defensive end, the offensive end, being a leader, everything combined," said head coach Gregg Popovich.
Aldridge finished with 41 points, the most he has scored as a Spur in the regular season and just three off his regular season career high of 44.
"Just feels good just taking my time, trying to take my shots, trying to make guys better out there," Aldridge said.
Aldridge scored the first eight points for the Spurs and finished the quarter with 17.
He hit three out of three from three-point range, including one from the top of the key that was an indication of how the night was about to unfold.
"When I hit that one at the top of the key, it was kind of just a little fluke shot, when I made that one I was like it is going to be one of those nights. After that I kind of got cold towards in the end of the second quarter but I ended up finding it again," Aldridge said.
"Tonight was special right? Every time you score 40-plus it is a really special game, I am just happy for him played really well," Pau Gasol said.
Even though Popovich said he has been an All-Star, Aldridge did not want to talk about being an All-Star.
"I'm not even going there, I am just going to keep playing my game," Aldridge said.
Once again Tony Parker got a lot of attention, making his second start. He played 18 minutes and scored 10 points and dished out five assists.
The Spurs got the lead to 15 in the third. Memphis cut to the lead to three 86-83 with 7:31 left in the game. Then the Spurs went on an 18-12 run to close it out.
They got the win, but there are a few things they need to do better against this same Grizzlies team Friday night in Memphis if they are going to win again.
"We need to do a better job Friday on the board," Popovich said.
San Antonio was out-rebounded 37-32 over all and out-rebounded by six on the offensive glass.