SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The Spurs could have been excused for a letdown two days after their most emotional victory of the season. Then again, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich gives no quarter and neither did his team.
Derrick White scored 19 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 and the Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat Memphis 108-88 on Saturday night, handing the Grizzlies their fifth straight loss.
Popovich only offered a dismissive look when asked if he was worried about a letdown following the Spurs’ 125-107 victory in Kawhi Leonard’s return to San Antonio on Thursday. The frenzied environment that overwhelmed the Raptors was absent, but the Spurs energized themselves and the crowd.
“Definitely a different atmosphere,” White said. “We just had to bring it within the locker room. I think we kind of got off to a slow start, but we picked it up there and got the win.”
San Antonio won for the 12th time in 15 games and is 4 1/2 games out of first in the Western Conference after dropping to 14th in December.
Mike Conley had 21 points in 25 minutes for Memphis, which has dropped to 12th in the West. Jaren Jackson and Dillon Brooks, who added 15 points apiece, were the only other Grizzlies in double figures.
The Grizzlies outscored the Spurs 20-11 to start the fourth quarter, trimming a 24-point lead. Memphis pulled within 95-86 with 5 minutes remaining on Brooks’ third 3-pointer, but San Antonio’s starters reclaimed a double-digit lead.
“That’s the NBA, it goes back and forth,” Popovich said. “Forty-eight minutes is a long time to play. You’re going to have different periods. You’ve just got to hang in.”
The Spurs started the game 1 for 6 and did not collect their initial basket until more than two minutes into the game.
In other results:
Denver 123, Charlotte 110; Utah 110, Detroit 105; Philadelphia 106, Dallas 100; New Orleans 133, Cleveland 98; Toronto 123, Milwaukee 116; Golden State 127, Sacramento 123; Portland 110, Houston 101