MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – Faced with a challenge, the San Antonio Spurs kept their cool Friday night and in the end left another team in their dust.
Tony Parker scored 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and San Antonio’s reserves poured in 45 points to help the brutally efficient Spurs pull away from the Memphis Grizzlies for a 102-86 win Friday night.
The Spurs’ ninth straight victory added to the best start in franchise history (11-1).
The Grizzlies pulled within 79-78 with 6:37 left in the game on Tony Allen’s jumper, but the Spurs closed on a 23-8 run, making shot after shot in the final minutes.
“We kept our composure and we didn’t panic,” Parker said. “We just run our stuff and make stops.”
Exasperated Memphis couldn’t do much but watch. San Antonio beat Memphis for the sixth straight game, counting the postseason. The Spurs swept the Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals last season and beat them again 101-94 in this season’s opening night in San Antonio.
“Obviously, they have our number,” Allen said. “That’s six straight games they’ve beat us. We have to catch up to where they’re at.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Parker struggled some in the third quarter, but adjusted quickly.
“He made great decisions, got the ball moving and involved everybody,” Popovich said. “He spread the floor for himself and did a really fine job.”
Tiago Splitter scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and Manu Ginobili added 15 off the bench. The Spurs shot 42 of 79 from the field (53.2 percent).
It was a costly loss for the Grizzlies (7-6), who had starting center Marc Gasol leave the game with a sprained left knee early in the second quarter. He didn’t return and is expected to have an MRI on Saturday.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 28 points. Zach Randolph added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Trail Blazers 98, Bulls 95
In Portland, Derrick Rose injured his right knee and the Chicago star, who sat out last season following surgery on his other knee, did not return during a loss to the red-hot Trail Blazers.
Rose led the Bulls with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists but was assisted to the locker room with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Timberwolves 111, Nets 81
In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four assists in just 28 minutes, and the Timberwolves beat Kevin Garnett for the first time since he left Minnesota in a victory over woeful Brooklyn.
Pacers 97, Celtics 82
In Boston, Paul George scored 27 points and led a comeback for Indiana.
76ers 115, Bucks 107 (OT)
In Philadelphia, Evan Turner scored 27 points and Spencer Hawes scored 11 of his 25 points in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime for the Sixers.
Pelicans 104, Cavaliers 100
In New Orleans, Anthony Davis had 17 points and 13 rebounds and the Pelicans erased a 12-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to beat Cleveland.
Hawks 96, Pistons 89
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Jeff Teague scored 14 of his 18 points in the third quarter for Atlanta.
Suns 98, Bobcats 91
In Charlotte, Channing Frye scored 20 points and P.J. Tucker was perfect from the field for Phoenix.
Mavericks 103, Jazz 93
In Dallas, Monta Ellis scored 26 points to pace five teammates in double figures for the Mavs.
Raptors 96, Wizards 88
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay each scored 17 points for Toronto.
Lakers 102, Warriors 95
In Los Angeles, Pau Gasol had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Nick Young scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half for the Lakers.