By Paul J. Weber
SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan had 28 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs snapped out of a funk to top the surging Memphis Grizzlies 107-97 on Thursday night.
Manu Ginobili added 20 points and Tony Parker scored 13, redeeming themselves a night after being humiliated by the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs narrowly escaped their first three-game slide this season.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 19 points. The Grizzlies had their four-game winning streak halted after their rally from a late 14-point deficit fizzled in the final minutes.
Memphis fell 1½ games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 4 playoff seed. It was only the third loss in 12 games for the Grizzlies since the return of Zach Randolph.
Duncan scored 20 in the second half and matched his season high, a night after practically guaranteeing that the Spurs would respond from a listless effort against the Lakers. So frustrated was Duncan following Wednesday’s night 98-84 loss that he said he was grateful to be playing a back-to-back, which the health-conscious Spurs typically greet with groans.
The Spurs looked helpless while Lakers center Andrew Bynum become just the second NBA player in the last dozen years to corral 30 rebounds in a game, but behind Duncan, their front line fared much better against the equally big Grizzlies. The Spurs matched Memphis in rebounding and held Randolph to 10 points and 11 boards.
Danny Green added 10 points for the Spurs. Parker had nine assists and shot 5 of 12 after scoring just four points against the Lakers.
Gay shot just 7 of 22 one night after he had 32 points against Phoenix. The Grizzlies whittled an 88-74 deficit down to two points with 3 minutes left before losing steam.
Memphis staged its comeback despite shooting just 29 percent in the fourth.
O.J. Mayo scored 16 points and Marreese Speights added 15 for the Grizzlies.
Hollins arrived in San Antonio reiterating that he has no intention of returning Randolph to the starting lineup anytime soon.
“I don’t know that we’re ever going to do that,” Hollins said. “Zach can come in and score anytime. He’s getting his double-doubles, so what else is there?”