San Antonio, TX – From start to finish, the veteran-laden San Antonio Spurs played with the confidence of a team in search of its fifth NBA championship.
Tony Parker tallied 20 points with nine assists and the Spurs connected on 14 3-pointers in a 105-83 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of their Western Conference finals series.
Kawhi Leonard and Matt Bonner each canned four shots from beyond the arc as the Spurs set a franchise record for most 3-point makes in a playoff game. Leonard finished with 18 points, while Bonner poured in 12 off the bench.
The Spurs, making their eighth appearance in a conference final in the last 15 years, led nearly the entire game while holding Memphis' postseason leading scorer, Zach Randolph, in check the whole way.
Averaging 19.7 points per contest during these playoffs coming in, Randolph scored just two while missing his first seven shots from the field. He finished 1-for-8 for the Grizzlies, who are making their first appearance in a conference final.
Memphis, winners of eight of nine coming in, had not lost a game by double- digits since Game 1 of its quarterfinal set with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Quincy Pondexter made five 3-pointers en route to a team-best 17 points, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley poured in 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the setback. The Grizzlies will look to rebound Tuesday night in San Antonio for Game 2.
The Spurs constantly made the extra pass in order to break up Memphis' top flight defense, recording 28 assists on their 40 made baskets for the game.
"Our ball movement was great tonight," said Parker. "We shot the ball very well, its just one game and we'll try and do the same thing in Game 2. I'm sure they're going to make some adjustments."
They made seven of their first eight shots from the field to get going early and they led by as many as 20 in the first half before taking a 51-37 lead into the break.
Memphis' only offensive burst came in the third when it scored the last 10 points of a 13-2 surge. Pondexter netted three 3-pointers and Jerryd Bayless came away with a steal and a fastbreak dunk to cut the margin to 62-56 with 3:43 left in the period, but San Antonio had an answer.
Manu Ginobili had been held without a field goal to that point, but his ensuing 3-pointer quelled the run and began a quarter-closing 11-1 push for San Antonio. Bonner then connected on his fourth three and Ginobili added a driving score before a pair of Boris Diaw free throws sent the Spurs into the fourth with all the momentum and a commanding 73-57 edge.
"It was just a matter of time before they kicked it back on," said Pondexter. "It was really tough."
The Grizzlies never came close in the final period, as the Spurs went for the knockout by connecting on 65 percent of their shots in the frame to build a lead that grew as large as 28 points.
San Antonio quickly took control with an 18-6 lead 5 1/2 minutes through the contest and Bonner drained two of the team's four 3-pointers in succession late in the stanza to help the Spurs take a 17-point edge into the second quarter.
With Memphis still struggling to score, the margin grew to 43-23 midway through the second after two more baskets from Parker, who made his first five shots.
Gasol helped give the Grizzlies a jolt offensively late in the session, bringing them within 12 by supplying three baskets to a 10-3 run, but Bonner quelled the short surge with another triple and the Spurs carried a 14-point edge into the break.
Memphis has dropped the opening game in its last four playoff series ... The Spurs were 14-of-29 from 3-point range for the contest ... San Antonio shot 52.6 percent from the field overall ... The Spurs' Tim Duncan posted a game- high 10 rebounds and scored six points.