Gasol shot 11-of-18 on Saturday. The remaining Grizzlies shot 20-of-61.
Marc Gasol picked apart the San Antonio Spurs for 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the Grizzlies’ Game 1 loss on Saturday night. He scored 25 points in the first half, setting a franchise record for most points scored in a half, and set his own playoff career-high in the process.
The problem? No other Memphis players stepped up as the Spurs extended a three-point halftime lead to a 29-point victory.
Mike Conley started the game five-of-six from the field for 13 points, but wouldn’t score again as he proceeded to miss his final eight shots. The Spurs outscored the Grizzlies by 39 in all lineups that included Zach Randolph on the floor. He finished with six points on three-of-13 shooting.
As a team, Memphis shot 39.2 percent from the field. All players not named Marc Gasol combined to shoot 32.8 percent, and that percentage went up in garbage time at the end of the fourth quarter.
Gasol had the best game of his career, yet his Grizzlies trailed by more than 30 points down the stretch.
Conley and Randolph have got to step up
The Grizzlies took a 30-25 lead over the Spurs into the second quarter. Why? Conley was playing like a $153 million man. He had 10 points on a perfect four-of-four shooting and had taken advantage of his matchup against an aging Tony Parker.
And then the Spurs switched Danny Green, a solid perimeter defender, onto Conley. He never scored again after the 8:40 mark in the second quarter.
The same goes for Randolph, who was only able to score once during San Antonio’s second-half run. The Spurs had a four-point third-quarter lead when Z-Bo entered with nine minutes remaining. They entered the fourth quarter with a 20-point cushion as Randolph scored just two points in the period.
Memphis was already at a disadvantage in a series against a San Antonio team with the league’s second-best record. The Spurs have the best player in the series, Leonard, and have Gregg Popovich’s coaching expertise to make the supporting pieces work.
Memphis was at another disadvantage after losing Chandler Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94 million deal over the summer, to a season-ending torn meniscus.
But the Grizzlies were able to get this far with the roster they have. And while Gasol has been magnificent, at least through one game, Memphis could see a very early playoff exit if his co-stars don’t pull their weight.