It's amazing how those two things go together.
Yeah, this is going to be very short.
How it Happened
Much like last night's game against the Suns, Tim Duncan was on a completely different level than anyone else in the game... in the first half. The Spurs were pretty lazy on defense for the first half of this game, allowing 49 points on 50% shooting. The offense was pretty bogged down too, with Timmy providing almost half of our first-half points by himself. Our defensive specialist helped a bit, and Tony Parker made shots in between his 5 turnovers(He seriously needs to cut it out with losing the ball off his knee in the paint). Once again, the Spurs had no answer for Monta Ellis, who ended the night with 35 points. George Hill made a couple of great plays to close out the half well, but the Spurs still ended up down by two.
In the second half, the Spurs started playing much tighter D, and even closed out on shooters(where was that last night?). That defensive effort, combined with some offensive help for Timmeh from one of the other members of the big 4, let the Spurs cruise out to a 9-point lead at the end of the 3rd period. This was one of the few games where our starting 5(who also started the third) had the highest +/- number on the team. Tony seemed to key in on rebounds during the second half, finishing with 8 for the game to go with his 12 points. The bench unit didn't suck in the second half, and managed to keep the lead, which was even extended to 12 during the 4th quarter.
5 Spurs ended the game in double figures. One good thing to take away from this game is that the Spurs won without getting good shooting from beyond the arc(5-18), and despite commiting 20 turnovers. Not the prettiest way to get the W, but just imagine what the score would have been like if those 2 issues were corrected. A win is a win - now, let's get another one on Saturday.
Your 3 Stars
Tim Duncan - Nothing to see here, move along. This is getting very predictable. 27 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, and 1 smile that could melt the Antarctic ice cap. And if not for that smile, nobody would have noticed his performance.
Keith Bogans - All 3 of these guys were part of the defensive lockdown in the 3rd quarter, but Keith was doing his thing for his entire 24 minutes. He also contributed 13 points on only 5 shots, including an impressive drive to the basket that seemed to catch everyone off guard.
Richard Jefferson - Rage started out quietly, but joined Duncan and Bogans to provide good offense in the second half. A couple of pretty reverse dunks, coupled with good jump shooting, gave RJ 14 second-half points. I even saw him playing defense and contesting shots. Good job, RJ.
George, Manu and Tony had decent games too... but there's only 3 stars allowed.