So the Spurs beat the Clippers tonight, resulting in the second three-game winning streak of the season. Guess who decided to show up tonight? Everyone. Richard Jefferson is showing why we traded for him, truly making it a Big 4. The bench continued with its strong play, and despite Pop's fascination with the small ball lineup, the Spurs had one of their more balanced efforts of the season, showing that team chemistry is on the rise.
The Spurs came out on fire in the 1st quarter, shooting over 70% from the field, while holding the other LA team to under 30%. Timmeh poured in points early, and then BAM entered the game and kept it rolling. Manu was the spark, going 4-5 from the 3-pt line. At this point (7:20 left in the 2nd), we had a 25 point lead, 55-30, and then the traditional TQC happened early. Riki will blame this on mojo. We had minimized the turnovers, but then decided to once again play like crap in the last few minutes of a quarter. The possesions read like this:
- Tony Parker misses 21-foot jumper
- Tony Parker makes layup
- Richard Jefferson bad pass (Eric Gordon steals)
- Tony Parker turnover
Keith Bogans shooting foul (Marcus Camby draws the foul)
- Tim Duncan bad pass (Al Thornton steals)
- Tony Parker turnover
- Tim Duncan shooting foul (Baron Davis draws the foul)
- Manu Ginobili bad pass (Baron Davis steals)
So over the course of 7 minutes, we went from cruising with a 25 point lead to being up only 10 at the half. Meh.
The second half didn't start much better, as the Clips closed to within 7 points several times. The Spurs finally started to pull away in the last two minutes of the 3rd, when Blair and Hill entered the game. RJ started the 4th off in style, driving to the hole for a layup and 1. BAM (and RJ) really took over in the 4th. Jefferson continued his strong play by driving to the basket, and when he missed (his FTs), DeBeast was there to rebound the ball. Hill had several veteran plays, stealing the ball and saving it from going out of bounds, and then drawing fouls on the offensive end. The defense was quite good, holding the Clips to 34 points in the 2nd half. However, the end of the 4th brought the return of some sloppy play and crazy shot selection.
The only scary part of the game was when Blair skyed for a dunk and fell hard to the floor. He left the floor for the locker room and did not return. According to WOAI (courtesy of bella),
Walking around with a little bit of a limp. Seems to be O.K. Bunch of Ice packs. We’ll know more tomorrow.
Overall, a good effort from the Spurs, although the consistent play is still not there. Turnovers were better, but still too much sloppy play and too many offensive boards by the Clippers. However, the blowout allowed Pop to sit Timmeh, Manu and Tony for the entire 4th quarter. Only Tony played more than 30 minutes. We had 10 guys who played double digit minutes, and 6 with double digits points. Great balance, but our FT shooting % still sucks.
Your Stars of the Game
- The Bench - Manu shot really well, and showed why we love him. His creativity and passing involved the entire team on the offensive end. Blair was a monster again, with 14 points and 9 rebounds, various tip-ins and dunks. Bonner, Blair, and Hill all had impressive +/- numbers.
- Richard Jefferson - Rage showed his improvement lately hasn't been a fluke. He looked to score from the beginning and was aggressive in his drives to the basket, getting to the line more than anyone not named Hill. The only blip on the radar was his 4-7 from the FT line. He is a Spur.
- Tim Duncan - Tim got the Spurs going quickly in the 1st quarter, and quietly put together another 20 point game, going 9-14 from the floor. The old man keeps getting better.
For those of you who had trouble watching the game, here are the highlights.