ATLANTA (AP) — Talk about a short memory. Kyle Korver came out shooting, and this time he couldn’t miss.
The Boston Celtics? They couldn’t make anything.
Shaking off a dismal performance in the playoff opener, Korver swished four 3-pointers in the opening minutes to propel Atlanta to a stunning 21-point lead before many fans had settled into their seats Tuesday night. There wasn’t much doubt after that, the Hawks cruising to an 89-72 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series.
“We all have pride, right?” said Korver, who went 1 of 10 on Saturday and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. “I wanted to come out and play better the second game.”
As good as Korver and the Hawks were in the early going, this one will be remembered more for the Celtics’ grisly start. They scored just seven points over the first 12 minutes, the lowest-scoring opening quarter in a playoff game since the NBA went to a shot clock in 1954.
“I don’t know what it is,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder, looking a bit shell-shocked after scoring just two points on 1-of-9 shooting, “but we’ve got to change something.”
Crowder had plenty of company in his shooting misery.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Patty Mills had 16 points, Kawhi Leonard added 13 and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in beating the Memphis Grizzlies 94-68 on Tuesday night to sweep the first two games of the first-round series in imposing fashion.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 10 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. Aldridge sat out the entire fourth quarter along with Leonard and Tony Parker while Tim Duncan and Danny Green made brief appearances.
If history and Memphis’ current state are any indication, the Grizzlies’ prospects don’t look good heading into a home game Friday night.
San Antonio’s suffocating defense held Memphis to franchise lows in total points and points in a quarter 12 years to the day after establishing those records on its way to a series sweep.
Tony Allen led Memphis with 12 points and Zach Randolph had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
After matching a franchise low with a 13-point first quarter in Game 1, the Grizzlies lowered that mark by tying a franchise low for any quarter with 11 points in Tuesday’s opening period.
The Grizzlies continued to struggle to find consistency on offense without injured starters Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.
Memphis’ fortunes didn’t improve much after that dreadful start.
The Grizzlies went 3 1/2 minutes without scoring beginning midway through the second quarter and then failed to score in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half.
Randolph’s struggles continued. He opened the game shooting 1 for 5 and Aldridge hit two mid-range jumpers against him.