SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs played poorly, were not sharp and heard all about it during a fiery timeout.
Imagine if they had lost.
San Antonio (10-3) won for the seventh time by double figures, but that did little to temper the sting after a lethargic 104-90 loss at New Orleans on Friday night.
"We are building," said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who scored 15. "We really don't care about the record right now. Of course it's good to be 10-3, but we didn't have a super tough schedule, but it's going to get tougher soon. We should have won one or two more games, but at the same time, we are building, we are trying to get better. ... It's progress. We're OK."
San Antonio is unbeaten at home after six games, but has struggled to close out games and it happened again against Memphis (7-7).
The Grizzlies' only lead came on Tony Allen's 20-foot jumper to open the game, but they closed within six points twice in the final two minutes.
Tim Duncan, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, hit a pair of running floaters in the lane in the final 90 seconds. Leonard had a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to seal the victory.
"Great players make great plays," Memphis coach David Joerger said. "(Leonard) hits a big shot at the end. Steps back. Duncan did what he does. It's tough."
San Antonio committed six turnovers in each of the final two quarters, resulting in 16 points for Memphis.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was asked if the 18 total turnovers are the sign the team is still growing accustomed to a revamped roster.
"No, it was a sign of a team playing poorly," Popovich said.
And the Spurs' were told that even more bluntly midway through the third quarter following a turnover by Danny Green.
San Antonio's 11th turnover led to a fast-break layup by Matt Barnes that pulled Memphis within 61-55 midway through the third. Popovich immediately called a timeout and it resulted in the Spurs going on a 13-6 run to close the quarter.
"They upped their pressure and got a little bit more aggressive," Spurs forward David West said. "We didn't handle it well in moments, but we made enough plays to come out with a win."
Neither team had its starting power forward. LaMarcus Aldridge was a late scratch with a sprained left ankle, his first missed game with San Antonio. Memphis' Zach Randolph was in uniform, but did not play in his second straight game due to right knee soreness.
Ginobili returned from a two-game absence to give the Spurs an early spark.
He scored 12 straight points in 3 minutes bridging the first and second quarters. After making three straight 3-pointers, the 38-year-old stepped in front of a pass on the wing to Lee and beat the younger Grizzlies guard down the court for a left-handed layup.
Grizzlies: F Jeff Green left the court early in the third quarter after bumping heads with Allen when both reached for an attempted steal. Green was holding his left temple and had his back to the action when Conley intentionally fouled Parker. Green returned midway through the third quarter and finished with six points and seven rebounds. ... The Grizzlies' bench had 38 points. They averaged 37.8 points during the winning streak.
Spurs: Popovich won his 1,032nd game, moving within 10 victories of tying Rick Adelman for eighth on the career list. ... F Kyle Anderson provided a boost off the bench with Boris Diaw and Patty Mills being held to five points. Anderson was 3-for-5 shooting in scoring eight points.
NOT MY FAULT
Popovich may have been upset with the Spurs during a turnover-heavy third quarter but, for once, Ginobili didn't draw any of that ire.
"I was relaxed because I wasn't there," Ginobili said, smiling. "I was not the one turning the ball over. It's like when we have a video session and I didn't play. I'm relaxed, I bring a little juice. When you are a part of that, you don't want to be in there. It's tough. So, yeah, he was not very happy."
Grizzlies: Host Dallas on Tuesday.
Spurs: Host Phoenix on Monday.