Kawhi Leonard had a postseason career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds and San Antonio Spurs held on to beat Memphis 96-82 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the first round of their NBA Western Conference playoff series.
"It's unfortunate that I've got a guy like [point guard] Mike Conley that in his whole career has got zero technical fouls and just can not seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves", Fizdale said after Memphis fell to a 2-0 series deficit.
Leonard finished the game 9 for 14 from the field and was 19 for 19 on free throws. First half, we shot 19 shots in the paint, and we had six free throws. Explain it to me.
Grizzlies: Memphis was 2-0 at home against San Antonio in the regular season, winning by an 11-point average.
"Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has been fined $30,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced [on Wednesday] by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations".
The Spurs went 31-for-32 at the free-throw line.
Fizdale said: "We don't get the respect [from the refs] that these guys deserve, because Mike Conley doesn't go insane, he has class, and he just plays the game, but I'm not gonna let them treat us that way".
What irked Fizdale most was the disparity in fouls called during the game. "Take that for data".
"If it rallies our fans - and it sounds like we're selling T-shirts and the money is going back into the community - it's worth it for me", Fizdale said. "There's no other twist about it".
Memphis' biggest problem thus far has been its inability to slow down Leonard. Leonard made sure of that. He became the fifth player since 2006 to score 1,000 points in his first 46 playoff games, joining Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
"Memphis is a physical team", Leonard said. Memphis' increased physicality and aggressiveness was enough to allow it to head to the fourth quarter down just 75-65, well within striking distance. "I guess I did something and the refs were paying attention and I was able to get to the line". Game three is Thursday at FedExForum at 8:30 p.m.