Three thoughts from the Grizzlies' 94-68 loss to the Spurs on Tuesday night, dealing them a 2-0 deficit in the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
1. Win At Home ... Or Stay There
The stakes are simple at this point for the Grizzlies. After two losses in which they've been outscored every quarter led all of 25 seconds, they must win at least one of next two games in Memphis or the season is over.
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While the results in San Antonio would make it seem an impossibility, the Grizzlies have remained surprisingly consistent at FedExForum despite the obstacles their roster has presented.
Marc Gasol went down Feb. 8 and Memphis went on to claim its next three games at home, and after Mike Conley was lost March 6, it beat the Pelicans, Clippers and Bulls at home. In all, in games without either Gasol or Conley, the Grizzlies were 7-6 at home compared to 5-13 on the road sans that duo. Basically, if Memphis is going to have a chance, it's going to be n Beale Street, where they held opponents to 101.3 points per game, the 11th-fewest in the league and
All that being said, the Grizzlies' worst loss on their floor in the final month of the season came courtesy of the Spurs 101-87 on March 28.
2. Defense collapsing on Randolph
The Grizzlies shot just 38 percent in Game 2 and that brunt of that frustrating night from the field rested on the shoulders of Memphis' best remaining player in Zach Randolph.
The veteran notched his 28th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, but that scoring came on 5 of 17 shooting (29.4 percent), which came on the heels of his shooting 23.1 percent (3 of 13) in Game 1.
The Spurs are making it clear that someone other than Randolph is going to have to beat them, and while Tony Allen (4 of 7 for 12 points) picked up the slack with Lance Stephenson struggling (2 of 7), San Antonio's ability to collapse on Randolph with LaMarcus Aldridge as the lead is causing him fits.
It's a viable strategy, as Randolph is shooting 51.5 percent in the paint and 42.6 on his other two-point shots.
3. A statistical oddity
Tim Duncan has played 243 career playoff games -- and this was the first time the future Hall of Famer didn't make a field goal.
He had thee points -- all on free throws -- and attempted just one shot, a 10-footer with 2:17 to go in the third quarter that was blocked by JaMychal Green.
Duncan did finish with nine rebounds, an outing that put him in extremely rare company. Dennis Rodman is the only HOFer to have a game in which he scored three or fewer points on a single field goal and pulled down nine ore more rebounds, doing it on June 5, 1998 against the Jazz (three points and nine rebounds on one FG) when he was with the Bulls and May 31, 1989 as a Piston when he had zero points and 14 boards on one shot vs. Chicago.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His book, 'Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,' is out now, and 'The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners' will be released Nov. 1, 2016.