Manu Ginobili logs 30 minutes in 3OT game (Dec 20 12:00 ET )
Manu Ginobili logged 30 minutes in Friday's triple-overtime loss, scoring 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting with five rebounds, five assists and six turnovers.
The Scoop:"It's different every night [with the injuries], so it keeps them out of rhythm and we are wearing some guys down," coach Gregg Popovich said. "Timmy [Duncan] is a big worry in that respect and so is Manu [Ginobili]." Duncan played 43 minutes on Saturday, while Ginobili played close to 30, so it is very likely that they will be held out. Boris Diaw and Aron Baynes would benefit the most in Duncan's absence, while Marco Belinelli and Danny Green would soak up Ginobili's minutes. Stay tuned.
The Scoop:He played 30 minutes in Friday's second consecutive triple-overtime loss, so we saw this one coming. Owners should have a backup plan ready, and will want to check back before tip-off for official confirmation. Marco Belinelli and Danny Green would be solid plug-and-play options if Ginobili sits this one out. Stay tuned.
Manu Ginobili played 41 minutes against the Grizzlies during a 117-116 triple-overtime loss on Wednesday, scoring 21 points with eight boards, eight assists and four 3-pointers.
The Scoop:He started at point guard in the second half and the Spurs probably wanted this one badly. Ginobili has been effective while he's out there this season, but all the DNPs and low minutes will be annoying. He's almost a lock to rest on either Friday or Saturday.
The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs have one of the best on-court rivalries in the NBA, dating back to the former's upset of the top-seeded latter in the first round of the 2011 playoffs through a 2013 conference finals in which the Spurs outplayed the Grizzlies in pretty much every way imaginable. When these teams get together, fans can be sure they'll see a hard-fought contest with two veteran squads. Yet Wednesday's matchup in San Antonio involved a few more surprises than usual. After go-ahead three-pointer from Danny Green, the Grizzlies entered the final possession of regulation at a 92-89 disadvantage with 2.5 seconds on the clock. Solid inbounds defense forced Courtney Lee to pass the ball to center Marc Gasol, who was immediately pressured by Manu Ginobili to several feet beyond the three-point arc. Gasol, who had missed all three of his long-range attempts this season and gone just 7-of-49 in his career prior to this shot, ducked under Ginobili's raised arms and launched a desperation leaner. His prayer was answered: That unlikeliest of buzzer-beaters gave the Grizzlies a second chance at a win, but it turned out to be just the prelude to more lunacy. Gasol hit a lay-in with nine seconds left in the extra period to lead to a 10-10 standstill and force a second overtime, which turned out to be the weirdest of all. Down 109-108, Memphis caused Tim Duncan to miss two shots around the basket before Zach Randolph pulled down a key defensive rebound with seven seconds on the clock. Courtney Lee then hit a three-pointer in transition to give his team a thrilling 111-109 lead: It turned out to be short-lived, though, because Duncan turned back the clock with his own buzzer-beater on the very next play. With just 2.6 seconds left, Duncan took the inbounds pass from Boris Diaw near the top of the key and hit a jumper while fading away to his left: If that play looks familiar, it's likely because it's nearly identical to one of the most dramatic shots of Duncan's storied career — the fadeaway he hit right before Derek Fisher's classic, nearly impossible 0.4-second buzzer-beater in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals. Wednesday's shot helped detract from a fairly poor night for Duncan (5-of-15 shooting from the line, 9-of-22 from the field), but the Spurs obviously had to show their stuff in the third overtime. That didn't quite happen. Zach Randolph scored all six of the Grizzlies' points over a 2:30 stretch in the middle of the period as the Spurs' offense struggled mightily. Like many third overtimes, this wasn't a well-played five minutes. Nor was it particularly dramatic — no one scored after Danny Green's three-pointer with 40 seconds on the clock as Memphis came away with a 117-116 victory . Drama aside, this win was a very big statement by the Grizzlies, who are now a game behind the Golden State Warriors in the loss column with a 21-4 record. Yet that placement in the standings is almost beside the point — Memphis topped Golden State at FedEx Forum on Tuesday with their inimitable grit-and-grind style and persevered through several tough moments to beat San Antonio. The Grizzlies have two tough games this weekend vs. the Chicago Bulls on Friday night and at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, but they have served notice to the rest of the league this week regardless of those results. This team is a contender. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric