GAMEDAY AT A GLANCE
Memphis Grizzlies (18-20) vs. Spurs (22-17)
When, where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center
Last season: Spurs won series 4-0
All-time series record: Spurs lead 69-23
Season series: Grizzlies lead 1-0
Last meeting: Grizzlies 104, Spurs 103, Nov. 21, 2018, AT&T Center
Grizzlies' last game: Lost to Brooklyn Nets 109-100, Friday, Memphis
Spurs' last game: Beat Raptors 125-107, Thursday, AT&T Center
Grizzlies' last 10 games/streak: 2-8, lost four
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 7-3, won three
Grizzlies' injury/inactive report: Point guard Mike Conley (left shoulder soreness), probable; center Marc Gasol (left hamstring soreness), questionable; forward Chandler Parsons (right knee soreness), out.
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward Drew Eubanks (G League assignment), out; forward Ben Moore (G League assignment), out; point guard Dejounte Murray (torn right anterior cruciate ligament), out,
Notable: The Spurs (22-17) climbed to five games over .500 for the first time this season with Thursday night's stirring victory over Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors . . . After playing the Grizzlies on Saturday, the Silver and Black have road games against Detroit on Monday and Memphis again on Wednesday. San Antonio's next game at the AT&T Center after Saturday will be against Oklahoma City next Thursday . . . The Spurs are the only NBA team with an all-time winning record against every team in the league . . . Lonnie Walker IV, 20, is the second-youngest player to appear in a game for the Spurs in franchise history. Tony Parker is the only teenager to play in a game for the Silver and Black.
SAN ANTONIO – After getting some closure to the drama that cast a shadow over the 2017-18 season, one of the most difficult in franchise history, the resurgent Spurs have moved on and are focused on working to continue their steady improvement.
After going 11-14 in their first 25 games, the Silver and Black climbed to five games over .500 for the first time this season with a stirring 125-107 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.
The game marked former Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard’s first game back at the AT&T Center after getting traded to Toronto in July.
While Leonard was the center of attention as boos and jeers rained down on him, the night belonged to DeMar DeRozan, who was a four-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Raptors before getting traded for Leonard.
DeRozan had a stellar game, finishing with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. The rebounding total tied his career high, which he set against Miami on Nov. 7.
The Spurs (22-17) get back to the grind Saturday night with a home game against Memphis (18-20). The Grizzlies have lost four in a row and have had some internal strife, but they beat the Silver and Black 104-103 on Nov. 21 in Memphis.
Saturday’s clash will be the second game of a home-road back-to-back for the Grizzlies, who lost to the Brooklyn Nets 109-100 on Friday night.
Considering the highly charged atmosphere that permeated the AT&T Center, could the Spurs have a letdown after such an emotional game?
“We’ve got to create whatever we can create to get these wins,” forward Rudy Gay said after the game. “This is one today. It was emotional for a couple of guys. The whole team, we know we’ve got to get this game (against Memphis).
"When you play a game like this against a great team (Toronto), you’ve got to go out and prove it against the next team. That’s a big one for us.”
Gay had 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists against the Raptors. He was one of seven Spurs scoring in double figures.
Toronto traded DeRozan and center Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs for Leonard and starting guard Danny Green. San Antonio also received the Raptors’ protected No. 19 pick in this summer’s NBA draft.
DeRozan set the tone for the Spurs against his former team, scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the first half. He already had 10 rebounds and five assists at the break.
Asked what it was like going against Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, DeRozan said: “You definitely got to take on that challenge. It does a lot for you mentally when you’re able to have that confidence to go up against a guy like that.
“It goes a long way. That’s how you earn respect from your peers, and once you get that respect from your peers, you game will definitely go to the next level.”
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge continued to be a force inside, leading the Spurs with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and Bryn Forbes and Derrick White finished with 20 and 19 points, respectively.
Forbes was outstanding offensively, hitting 7 of 10 shots, including a career-high 6 of 7 three-pointers. White was 8 of 11 and nailed 2 of 3 three-pointers.
“I think we came out with a good energy,” Forbes said. “I think that was the biggest thing. We came out focused, great energy, and we finally put two halves together.
“I think that’s been huge for us all season. We struggled to put two halves together. We play a good first half and a bad second, or a good second and bad first. But we finally played a full game.”
White was 8 of 11 and nailed 2 of 3 three-pointers.
White, who was primarily responsible for guarding Leonard, got high marks from Popovich for his defense and all-around game at point guard.
"Derrick is rising to the challenge," Popovich said. "He wasn't expected to be in this position this season, and he's grown by leaps and bounds every week. With every game, he seems to be more confident making great decisions, and his demeanor is wonderful. The guys trust him out there. I'm really happy for him. He is doing a fine job."