By RAUL DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Derrick White scored 19 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat Memphis 108-88 on Saturday night, handing the Grizzlies their fifth straight loss.
San Antonio won for the 12th time in 15 games and is 4 1/2 games out of first in the Western Conference.
Mike Conley had 21 points in 25 minutes for Memphis, which has dropped to 12th in the West. Jaren Jackson and Dillon Brooks, who added 15 points apiece, were the only other Grizzlies in double figures.
The Grizzlies outscored the Spurs 20-11 to start the fourth quarter, trimming a 24-point lead. Memphis pulled within 95-86 with 5 minutes remaining on Brooks’ third 3-pointer, but San Antonio’s starters reclaimed a double-digit lead.
The Spurs had a slow start coming off a highly emotional victory Thursday over Toronto in Kawhi Leonard’s return to San Antonio. The Spurs started the game 1 for 6 against the Grizzlies and did not collect their initial basket until more than two minutes into the game.
San Antonio got going following a timeout by coach Gregg Popovich, outscoring Memphis 19-10 to end the first quarter and then outscoring by 18 in the second to take a 64-44 lead at the half.
Everything seemed to go right for the Spurs after that.
Aldridge shook his head and laughed in the first half after he banked in a fadeaway shot he threw up after nearly tumbling backwards after he was bumped by Marc Gasol.
Jakob Poeltl ended up with a dunk in the second half for the Spurs after diving to push the ball forward after he lost the dribble. Davis Bertans dove for the loose ball and tossed it toward halfcourt, where Patty Mills scooped the ball backward and underhanded off one foot as he jumped out of bounds and Poeltl collected it in the lane for a dunk.
Grizzlies: Justin Holiday scored two points in 20 minutes in his debut with Memphis after being acquired from Chicago in a trade Thursday for MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden. . Conley was listed as probable with a sore left shoulder but was cleared to play before pregame workouts. . Gasol played after testing a sore left hamstring prior to the game. . The Grizzlies’ season low for the second quarter is 11 points, which they were held to against Houston on Dec. 15.
Spurs: DeMar DeRozan became the sixth San Antonio player with 900-plus points through 40 games. He has 902 points, which is the third-most of his career. . Aldridge’s five assists in the first half were the most he’s had in any half with the Spurs. His career high for a half is six in 2014 while with Portland. . The 20-point advantage entering the third was San Antonio’s third-largest halftime lead this season. . The Spurs outscored the Grizzlies by 18 points in the second quarter, which is their largest point differential in the second.
Grizzlies: At New Orleans on Monday night.
Spurs: At Detroit on Monday night.