Spurs forward Matt Bonner never saw the decisive 3-pointer leave Shane Battier's hand, much less it ripping through the net. "I had Zach Randolph's elbow in my mouth at the time," Bonner said. Bonner had a better view of 3-point tries from George Hill and Richard Jefferson that could have salvaged Sunday's Game 1 against Memphis for the Spurs. "Both looked good," Bonner said. Both bounced off. The difference in the Spurs' 101-98 playoff-opening loss to Memphis at the AT&T Center was the difference in a lot of games and a lot of series. Three players toed the 3-point stripe in the final 30 seconds. One of them made the shot. The others didn't. Battier's 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left provided the go-ahead points for eighth-seeded Memphis, which earned the first playoff win in club history. In defeat, the Spurs became the first No. 1 seed to lose Game 1 of a first-round series since the 2007 Dallas Mavericks, who later in that opening matchup with Golden State became the only top seed in the best-of-7 era to be bounced in the first round. "We didn't do enough down the stretch," said Spurs forward Tim Duncan, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds. "That was the game right there." Playing without guard Manu Ginobili, out with a sprained right elbow, the Spurs faced the rare task of needing to steal Game 1 on their home floor. Had it not been for Battier, they might have. Randolph had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis, 0-12 in playoff games before Sunday, while Marc Gasol had 24 points and nine rebounds. But the game's biggest shot came from the guy they call "Granddaddy Shane." Battier, a 32-year-old original Memphis Grizzlie who returned in a February trade from Houston, knows what the win meant to fans back home. "I know Beale Street will be a fun place tonight," Battier said. Meanwhile, back in San Antonio, they might has well shut down the Riverwalk until Game 2 on Wednesday.
Battier's shot puts Spurs in early hole
San Antonio Express-News | Apr 18