San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected with 11:13 remaining in the third quarter after arguing that Rajon Rondo should have been ruled out of bounds on a play in which he saved the ball.
Popovich emerged from the locker room after the game to praise the Spurs’ efforts.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our group,” Popovich said. “Under very, very tough circumstances they keep fighting. As long as they believe in each other and keep working as hard as they are, we’re going to be in good shape.”
Ginobili continues to astound competitors in his 16th season. The 40-year-old finished with 17 points in 20 minutes.
Dallas center Nerlens Noel had four points, three rebounds and four fouls in 16 minutes in his return after missing 42 games following surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb. He was rusty, failing to get off a shot on two alley-oops and missing another attempt. He led Dallas with three first-half turnovers, but had a highlight in the second half with a block on a soaring Westbrook going for a layup.
Millsap, who came off the bench when he returned to action Tuesday after missing 44 games, was in the starting lineup against the Grizzlies. “I found a little bit of rhythm due to a lot of easy baskets that my teammates were giving me,” said Millsap, who was out due to wrist injury. “I feel pretty good for the most part.”
Due to illness and injury, the Grizzlies dressed only 10 players for the game, including guard Wayne Selden, who was on limited minutes in his first game back from right knee soreness. Bickerstaff said in his pregame interview: “We called Myke Henry and Kobi (Simmons) will be with us” from the team’s G League Memphis Hustle, who played on the road Friday night against the Northern Arizona Suns. Bickerstaff added that it was “difficult” to find 10 players. “We had to locate Myke (Henry) at the last minute to bring him in.”
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft has appeared to have done just that, turning around a terrible start to his rookie season and shooting the ball better and more confidently as the calendar turns to March. During Monday’s 123-104 win over the Hawks, Ball made all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers in 24 minutes.
Despite rapper and actor Shad “Bow Wow” Moss posting a viral Instagram video this week of him beating Ball in a shooting game (Ball, however, points out that he actually won the best-of-three contest 2-1), the Lakers point guard is shooting as confidently as he ever has as a pro, connecting on 6 of 9 3-pointers in two games since returning from a left MCL injury.