SAN ANTONIO – The resurgent Spurs started slowly against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, but there was no letdown after their emotional victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
Fast-improving Derrick White scored 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 18, leading the Silver and Black to a 108-88 victory over the slumping Grizzlies at the AT&T Center.
Patty Mills scored 12 of his 15 points in the second quarter when the Spurs (23-17) took control of the game after leading only 27-25 at the end of the first quarter.
The Grizzlies (18-21) beat the Silver and Black 104-103 in their first meeting Nov. 21 at the AT&T Center, but they were no match for the home team this time. Memphis has lost five straight.
DeMar DeRozan (12) and Jakob Poeltl (11) rounded out San Antonio's double-figure scoring. DeRozan led the team under the boards with nine rebounds, and Poeltl made 5 of 5 shots and added seven rebounds. Aldridge knocked down 5 of 9 shots, dished out a game-high seven assists and had two steals.
"I thought we did well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We got that one period where we couldn't score and let their second team do a good job of scoring for that stretch of time. That's the NBA. It goes back and forth. Forty-eight minutes is a long time to play. You're going to have different periods. You've just got to hang in."
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Spurs, who have won 12 of their last 15 since dropping to 11-14 with a road loss to the Lakers on Dec. 5.
White was highly efficient again Saturday night, hitting 8 of 9 shots, including his only three-point attempt, and playing head-up defense in 27 minutes.
"He's doing a lot of good things on both ends of the court," Popovich said. "He's improving and mostly because he's got some skills and he's becoming more confident in using them and feeling free out there. (He's) not worrying about making mistakes, so he's doing a fine job."
A second-year pro, White has started in 18 of the 30 games he's played this season. He missed nine games with a heel injury, but he has improved steadily since he returned to action.
While he's not as athletic as Dejounte Murray, who was the Silver and Black's starting point guard before he went down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, White has proven to be a steady hand. His confidence appears to grow with every game.
"Definitely, each game I'm just getting more and more comfortable, getting in a better rhythm (and) just trying to build off each game," White said.
With the crowd nowhere as raucous as it was for the Memphis game Thursday night, when fans booed and jeered former Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard from the team warmups until he left the court after the game, the setting was perfect for a letdown. But the Silver and Black shook off a slow start and never trailed after going ahead early in the second period.
"Definitely a different atmosphere," White said, referring to Saturday night. "We just had to bring it within the locker room. I think we kind of got off to a slow start, but we picked it up there and got that win."
The Spurs shot 49.3 percent (36-73) for the game and made 7 of 22 three-pointers. Memphis shot 37.8 percent (31-82) and hit 11 of 28 threes. The Silver and Black did a good job of sharing the ball, getting 26 assists on their 36 made field goals.
Mike Conley led Memphis' scoring with 21 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks had 15 apiece. Former Spurs forward Kyle Anderson, who signed with the Grizzlies last summer, finished with seven points.
"They're just relentless," Anderson said of the Spurs. "They've got high-character guys over there. They didn't get off to a good start, but they stuck with it as a team and they're obviously doing well right now, so that's going to pay off."
The Spurs led only 27-25 after one quarter, but they outscored the Grizzlies 37-19 in the second to go up 64-44 at the half. Mills led San Antonio's first-half scoring with his 12 points, and White and Aldridge had 11 each. Mills nailed 4 of 4 shots, including 2 of 2 from long distance, in the period.
After Memphis forward JaMychal Green completed a three-point play to tie the game at 28 with 10:52 left in the second quarter, the Silver and Black went on a 15-3 run that gave them a 43-31 lead. Mills had nine points in the run, including a three-pointer that gave San Antonio its first double-digit lead (43-31) of the game with 6:49 left in the half.
Memphis never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
The Spurs shot 55 percent overall (22-40) and 50 percent (5-10) from beyond the arc in the first two quarters. They moved the ball well, getting 15 assists on their 22 made field goals.
Conley led the Grizzlies' first-half scoring with 17 points, nailing 5 of 10 shots, including 3 of 5 three-pointers. Memphis shot 31.1 percent (14-45) in the first half, and made 5 of 19 three-pointers.
The Silver and Black have road games against Detroit on Monday and Memphis again on Wednesday. San Antonio plays Oklahoma City, one of the best teams in the Western Conference, in its next home game Thursday night.