Jonas Valanciunas didn't show any signs of rust in his debut with the Memphis Grizzlies, but it wasn't quite enough.
In a 108-107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Valanciunas gave the Grizzlies a huge boost off the bench with 23 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. He did so efficiently, making nine of his 11 shot attempts and five of his eight free throw attempts.
In addition to it being the big man's first game with his new team, it was the first time Valanciunas has played since dislocating his left thumb in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 12.
rip the rim down JV @JValanciunas #GetMemphis pic.twitter.com/ovo40RnBo7- Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 13, 2019
LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills led the way for the Spurs with 22 points each, with Aldridge shooting 8-for-15 from the field and Mills making six of his eight 3-point attempts.
The Spurs also got a near triple-double out of Rudy Gay to the tune of 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. It helped overcome a rough shooting night from DeMar DeRozan, who missed 14 of his 19 shot attempts.
22 PTS | 6-8 3PT | 3 AST@Patty_Mills set a new season high in tonight's win! #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/3Bs41cRyqc- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 13, 2019
Other than Valanciunas, Avery Bradley came up big for the Grizzlies with a career-high of 33 points. Justin Holiday (11) and CJ Miles (10) were the only other Grizzlies to score in double figures.
Rookie sensation Jaren Jackson Jr. finished the game with only nine points, five rebounds and one block. Jackson was fouled by Aldridge on a shot attempt in the closing seconds of the game with the Grizzlies trailing 108-106, but he missed the first free throw and accidentally banked-in the second.
The Grizzlies travel to Chicago on Wednesday to take on the Bulls. The next time the Spurs play will be after All-Star Weekend, when DeRozan makes his highly anticipated return to Toronto.