In an expecting bounce-back game after losing by 29 points the Memphis Grizzlies showed some resilience to compete with a better effort in the 96-82 loss. Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard scored a new career in game two as he poured 37 points (19-of-19 from the free-throw line) and grabbed 11 rebounds. It was all San Antonio all game long as their biggest lead at one point was 26 points. At one point in the early fourth quarter the Grizzlies were able to pull within four points.
The Grizzlies were led by Mike Conley Jr. who scored 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting and dropped in eight assists. Zack Randolph also played a better game two with 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Memphis in 35 minutes of action. Defensively, the Spurs held the Grizzlies to 38-percent shooting from the field (26-percent from three). The already depleted Grizzles were searching for answers as David Fizdale only played JaMychal Green and Wayne Seldon less than 20 minutes in game two which they started in.
The talk of the game came from Fizdale’s postgame interview, who lashed out to the media his frustration of his team not getting the respect of the officials. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve got a guy like Mike Conley that in his whole career has got zero technical fouls and just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves,” Fizdale said after Memphis fell to a 2-0 series deficit. “It was a very poorly officiated basketball game.”
Fizdale’s argument is that Leonard shot 19 free-throws which equated to more than the entire Grizzlies team attempted (13-of-15). “We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy. He has class, and he just plays the game,” Fizdale said. “But I’m not gonna let them treat us that way. I know Pop’s got pedigree, and I’m a young rookie. But they’re not gonna rook us. That’s unacceptable. That was unprofessional. Our guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game. And they did not even give us a chance.”
Prior to ending his postgame interview, Fizdale slammed his hand on the table and stood up. “Take that for data,” he said as he walked out of the interview.
The Spurs will head to Memphis for game three Thursday night. Tip-ff is 9:30 PM EST on TNT.
Baseline Times Staff Writer