Leonard's 37 points lead Spurs by Grizzlies 96-82

Draymond Green

The Cavs vowed they would play better after their near-disaster in Game 1 and they mostly backed up their talk, delivering the kind of performance that was routine last season but rare in 2017. Unfortunately, as much as the Grizzlies are trying, they can't stop Leonard, despite their best efforts.

However, the defending champions, following a pattern that began late in the regular season, almost gave away an 18-point lead in the fourth as the Pacers crawled within four in the final minute before Cleveland closed it out at the foul line.

Memphis is searching for answers after allowing San Antonio to be the aggressor over the final three quarters. The Spurs extended their lead and came away victorious, 96-82. "I thought they made a couple of tough shots". Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, had zero free throws, but somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws. Rookie Wayne Selden, who played just 14 games in the regular season, started in his place and went scoreless in 15 minutes. (He's 28-of-28.) Let that sink in. Leonard is 28-of-28 from the line for the series. It was a hard fought game for Memphis in which it was down 26 points and got within four in the fourth quarter but could ultimately not close the deal. Kawhi shot more free throws than are whole team.

Defensively, the Spurs are ranked first in the National Basketball Association, and it showed in the closing half of the fourth quarter. Memphis' increased physicality and aggressiveness was enough to allow it to head to the fourth quarter down just 75-65, well within striking distance. He misses defensive assigments often and his shot is never there. After, Randolph switched onto Leonard - that ended with a Leonard off-the-dribble jumper. Zach Randolph was sacked up, seemingly frustrated for not being rewarded with free throws. The Grizzlies tend to foul a lot. "We responded well when they made their run, and that's the mindset we have to have every night". Memphis platoon of wings simply doesn't have the reputation - or the intensity - of a key player like Allen.

Guard Mark Conley Jr. led the scoring for the Grizzlies with 24 points and a game lead of 8 assists.

"That was a very poorly officiated basketball game", Fizdale began. The Grizzlies took 15 free throws as a team against San Antonio's 32 even though Memphis attempted 35 shots in the paint, 17 more than the Spurs. The Memphis Grizzlies are averaging 82 points on 38.5 percent shooting and allowing 103.5 points on 50.4 percent shooting.

Despite the furious comeback, Memphis fell short. Over the course of the year, this team looks better when playing from behind anyways.

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