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New york: The San Antonio Spurs made light of Manu Ginobili’s absence to overwhelm Memphis 103-82 on Wednesday, piling on the misery for the struggling Grizzlies.
With Ginobili missing due to a left hamstring injury, the Spurs (30-11) handed Memphis a third straight loss by a margin of at least 20 points.
“It was one of our better games,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich told reporters.
“(But) when something like (tonight) happens, it’s because the other team is having a tough night.”
Tim Duncan netted 19 points and eight rebounds while Tony Parker added 17 and 11 assists as San Antonio cruised after a slow start.
Memphis took a six-point lead after the first quarter but San Antonio took over from there as the home Spurs outscored their opponent 84-57 over the final three quarters.
Rudy Gay led the visitors with 17 points and eight rebounds after returning from a one-game absence due to a death in the family.
It was far from enough for the Grizzlies (24-13) who were hammered 99-73 by the Clippers on Monday and 104-83 by the Mavericks two days earlier.
All five Memphis starters scored in double figures but they got little help elsewhere.
The Spurs, on the other hand, were firing on all cylinders. They tallied 33 assists while shooting 58 percent from the floor. The victory was their 13th straight at home.
Meanwhile, LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points yestrerday, moving past the milestone with 25 points in Miami’s 92-75 victory over Golden State.
James’s jump shot with 2:45 remaining in the second quarter gave him 20,001 career points. He came into the contest needing 18 points to become the 38th player in NBA history to reach the mark. “It means everything,” James said. “It means I’m healthy, I’m able to be out there on the floor and also my team-mates have allowed me to get to this milestone.”
The previous youngest to reach the 20,000-point mark was Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who got there when he was 29 years, 122 days old, while James was 28 years and 17 days old. Agencies