MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The lowly Memphis Grizzlies are closing out their season on a high note against playoff-bound teams, even if the better opponents aren't exactly putting out maximum effort.
Gasol connected on nine of his 15 shots to lead five Grizzlies in double figures.
The Grizzlies, who also defeated the playoff-bound Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, have won two straight, matching their longest winning streak of the season.
"It feels good for us," said rookie Tarence Kinsey, who finished with 12 points. "We needed it. ...We didn't have a lot of opportunities to win, but the one we did win felt good. Putting together back-to-back wins on the last home game of the season felt pretty good."
Both teams were without key players. Spurs Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili took the night off because San Antonio was no longer playing to enhance its third seed in the West. It was the first game this season Duncan has missed.
"It's a fine line between staying away from injury and giving the body a little bit of a break," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "But as much as the body, it's the mental side of it. This late into the season, I don't think somebody is not going to get into or out of shape."
The absences left little-used Spurs such as Jackie Butler and James White starting their first games of the season.
White said his 39 minutes probably equaled "all the (game) minutes and practice together."
"I was surprised," White said of Popovich deciding the rookie guard from Cincinnati would start. "He put my name up on the board right before we went out. It was like JW. I was like: 'JW? Is that me? Are you sure you didn't mean JV? Jacque Vaughn?' "
White and Michael Finley led the Spurs with 17 points apiece, while Butler and Beno Udrih scored 12 each. Butler also grabbed 10 boards.
"It's an opportunity for other guys," Spurs forward Bruce Bowen said of the situation. "Those are guys who practice all the time, and it's a great opportunity for them."
San Antonio, which trailed by as many as 21 early in the fourth period, got the deficit under 10 with 5:18 to play, and eventually got within 91-86 on Butler's 15-footer with 3:19 left. But San Antonio, which never led in the game, could get no closer, dropping its second game in as many nights.
"We didn't make good plays at the end, probably from a lack of experience from guys like myself," White said.
Memphis held a 56-43 lead at the half as Gasol scored 20 points, including a 43-footer as time ran out in the second period. The 7-foot Spaniard ran off the court with his arms outstretched like an airplane before bumping chests with Swift.
Atkins added 10 points for Memphis. No Spurs were in double figures, White and Robert Horry registering eight points apiece.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 15 in the opening half while shooting 54 percent.
Memphis continued to extend the lead in the early stages of the third period. Atkins 3-pointer with 9:17 left in the quarter gave the Grizzlies a 20-point lead, and Memphis maintained an 82-66 advantage entering the fourth.
"If it's a consolation prize, it's for the fans," Jones said. "It's two wins they can be proud of us and show them that we are still working hard to win games."
|Pau Gasol shows the Spurs his ugly side. The Spaniard finishes with 25 points, 15 boards and six assists. (AP)|
|San Antonio (58-23)||17||26||23||25||91|
|Memphis (21-60) «||26||30||26||19||101|
|SA:M. Finley 17 Pts
SA:M. Bonner 10 Reb
SA:B. Udrih 9 Ast
|MEM:P. Gasol 25 Pts
MEM:P. Gasol 15 Reb
MEM:P. Gasol 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Zach Randolph Grizzlies Name and Number T-Shirt - White Shop Now!
|J. White, G||39||8-14||0-0||3||1||1||17|
|J. Butler, C||28||5-11||2-2||10||2||5||12|
|J. Vaughn, PG||25||1-7||2-2||1||7||3||4|
|B. Bowen, SF||14||0-1||0-0||1||1||2||0|
|F. Elson, C||13||1-6||2-2||6||0||1||4|
|B. Udrih, PG||29||5-13||0-0||2||9||1||12|
|M. Bonner, PF||24||3-4||4-4||10||2||0||10|
|M. Finley, SG||23||7-11||0-0||2||1||2||17|
|R. Horry, PF||22||4-7||1-2||3||0||3||11|
|M. Ely, PF||14||0-5||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|F. Oberto, PF||9||2-5||0-0||1||1||2||4|
|B. Barry, SG||Did Not Play|
|T. Duncan, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Ginobili, SG||Did Not Play|
|T. Parker, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|D. Jones, SG||42||6-11||3-4||2||2||4||16|
|T. Kinsey, SG||42||5-11||2-2||7||1||0||12|
|P. Gasol, C||39||9-15||6-8||15||6||1||25|
|C. Atkins, PG||37||7-12||2-2||2||3||2||19|
|H. Warrick, PF||25||3-8||0-2||3||3||4||6|
|S. Swift, C||19||2-5||6-8||2||0||3||10|
|J. Harrington, PG||13||4-4||0-0||3||1||2||9|
|A. Johnson, PF||13||2-2||0-0||4||0||3||4|
|R. Gay, SG||11||0-4||0-0||0||1||0||0|
|D. Stoudamire, PG||Did Not Play|
|B. Cardinal, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Miller, SF||Did Not Play|
|L. Roberts, PF||Did Not Play|
|K. Lowry, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|