MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — 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).
Memphis 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."
The exasperated Grizzlies couldn't do much but watch. San Antonio beat Memphis for the sixth straight game, counting the postseason. The Spurs swept Memphis in the Western Conference finals last season and beat them again 101-94 on 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 the Grizzlies with 28 points. Zach Randolph added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Once Gasol left, the Grizzlies' chances of winning were greatly diminished.
The 7-foot-1 center grabbed at his knee while sliding toward the basket on defense, but never went to the floor. He gingerly walked off the floor and into the locker room.