San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs began their journey to atone for last season's gut-wrenching NBA Finals defeat by beating a familiar foe.
Kawhi Leonard led a balanced Spurs attack with 14 points and seven rebounds as San Antonio downed the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-94, in the season opener for both teams and a rematch of last year's Western Conference finals.
San Antonio outscored the Grizzlies 30-7 in the second quarter Wednesday and led by as many as 21 before holding off Memphis in the fourth.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan left the contest early in the third with a chest contusion and did not return. He had three points and six rebounds.
"He had spasms in his shoulder and his neck. It looks like his chest is bruised. He caught an elbow, so it kind of affected from his chest up through his neck at some time or another," Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said.
Tony Parker, who had 13 points and nine assists, was one of six Spurs in double figures. Boris Diaw netted 14 points off the bench, Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills each put in 12 points off the pine and Tiago Splitter added 11 and eight rebounds for San Antonio, which swept the Grizzlies in the penultimate series.
Marc Gasol tallied 14 points and nine rebounds, Mike Conley added 14 points and seven assists and Tony Allen poured in 15 points for the Grizzlies, who went a franchise-best 56-26 in 2012-13 and advanced to the conference finals for the first time.
"We stopped moving the basketball and we tried to create our own shots," new Memphis head coach Dave Joerger said.
Memphis led 20-18 after a quarter of play, but the Spurs seized control with an elongated 22-0 run in the second after Quincy Pondexter nailed two free throws to begin the frame.
Mills hit three triples during the surge, which was capped on a Danny Green pull-up jumper to stake San Antonio a 40-22 spread with 4:37 to go in the stanza.
The Spurs took a 48-27 advantage into the break and led 72-58 heading into the fourth, where the Grizzlies used a 9-1 spurt to climb back in it as a Pondexter jumper pulled them within 80-75 with 7:08 left.
Later in the period, Gasol's layup with 4:09 on the clock got Memphis within 90-84, but the Spurs countered with an 11-2 swing to put the game away.
Leonard nailed a three and Diaw capped the run with a layup to make it 101-86 with less than two minutes to go.
San Antonio went 58-24 during the regular season last year ... The Spurs outscored Memphis in the paint, 50-40 ... San Antonio shot 52.6 percent from the floor.