Playing without Manu Ginobili for the first game of the playoffs was going to be a challenge for the Spurs.
And that was even before Zach Randolph took the series over in that history-making game for the Memphis franchise.
The Grizzlies snapped a 12-game playoff losing streak as they notched the first playoff victory in franchise history with a stunning 101-98 victory over the Spurs in Game 1 on April 17.
Ginobili returned for the next game, but the Grizzlies snatched homecourt advantage from the opening game.
The Spurs were never able to overcome that deficit.
No. 2: Spurs miss Manu as Grizzlies steal Game 1.
When: April 17, 2011
Where: ATT Center, San Antonio
What happened: Playing without Ginobili, the Spurs stumbled in a Game 1 loss to Memphis, a franchise that had never won a playoff game in their previous three series in a 101-98 loss. The Spurs jumped to a 10-point lead in the third quarter and had a 96-94 lead with 1:28 left on Matt Bonner’s three. But Shane Battier hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left as Randolph notched 25 points and 14 rebounds to lead the upset.
What was said, Part I: ”It’s nice from an annoyance perspective to have it out of the way, because I don’t have to answer questions about being 0 and 13,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins on the first playoff victory in franchise history.
What was said, Part II: ”I was wide open,” Spurs forward Richard Jefferson, on his missed game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
What was said, Part III: “When you’re on the road, down two, may as well go for the 3,” Battier, describing his clutch 3-point shot to the Associated Press.
What was said, Part IV: ”You know damned well he’s not happy with me. And you know damned well he wants to be on that court. But I made my decision,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, explaining Ginobili’s reaction to not playing in Game 1.
GAME NOTES: Ginobili briefly worked out before the game, but was informed he would not play by Popovich shortly before the tip-off. Despite his absence, the Spurs led for much of the game before Memphis’ late rally. Battier was the only player to experience each of Memphis’ previous playoff games. His three put the Grizzlies ahead 99-98 on a 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left. Tony Allen then added two clinching free throws and Jefferson missed a wide-open game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Randolph (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Marc Gasol (24 points, nine rebounds) dominated the Spurs inside. The Spurs stormed back on a late 11-2 charge to take the lead that included two 3-pointers by Bonner. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 20 points, but hit only 4-for-16 from the field as the Spurs hit 40 percent from the field for the game. The Spurs were limited to 33 percent shooting in the fourth quarter. The game was physical as the Spurs shot 47 foul shots and the Grizzlies had 33. Memphis overcame 16 turnovers as they shot 55 percent from the field. Tim Duncan had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Battier celebrated the birth of his daughter, Eloise Susan Battier, who was born in Houston shortly after the game.
Previous bad memories:
No. 10: .
No. 9: Black Friday fourth-quarter collapse against Dallas helps snap Spurs’ .
No. 8: : Spurs blown out by Orlando by 22.
No. 7: Lowly Clips to Spurs.
No. 6: Heat’sfrom 30-point loss 10 days earlier.
No. 5: Blowout loss to Lakers .
No. 4: Duncan’s ankle injury.
No.3: Manu injures elbow in.
Previous good memories:
No. 10: .
No. 9: boosts comeback victory over Thunder.
No. 8: leads overtime victory over Memphis.
No. 7:boosts Spurs past Warriors.
No. 6: TD becomesin one game.
No. 5:with record 3-point binge.
No. 4: Pop passes Auerbach on.
No. 3: McDyess’ tip over Lakers.