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Spurs Beat 76ers in Philly for 5th Straight, 90-85

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Philadelphia 76ers in a game that was closer than most had anticipated, 90-85. The Spurs played a good first half, but looked lethargic and nearly gave the game away in the second half before closing the game in style behind veterans Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Since it worked out nicely last time, I thought I'd recap this game with your help. My comments will be in parentheses while the rest, in bold, came from your comments in the Game Thread. Let's get this started.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Splitter looks so graceful and clumsy all at the same time. by swgeek
(I completely agree with you about Splitter looking clumsy. However, I'm not sure I'd give him graceful. His most graceful move is probably the roll to the basket for the up and under, and even then I find myself holding my breath in anticipation of something clumsy. So more clumsy than graceful, but when he makes it, I guess it could be both. Against the 76ers, Tiago had a nice, clumsy game scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for a graceful double double.)

Holy carp! It's a Spurs lovefest by the TNT announcers. by CapHill
(Don't listen! It's a tarp. They're just saying these things hoping to jinx us.)

8 point lead end of first. yeah boi. by eastbaysd
(The first quarter went as expected. The Spurs played decent basketball and the 76ers seemed outmatched.)

Nando is pretty good when he is the primary play-maker. He doesn't play well with Manu, he basically becomes a spot up shooter. by spursfan87
(I disagree with this. I think the problem is that the team doesn't yet have confidence in Nando. With more playing time and NBA experience, I think we'll see Nando with the ball more often, regardless of whether he is sharing the court with Manu or not. Basically, I think this is a rookie problem, not a lineup problem. For the record, I think Nando could be a great player. I just hope he realizes his potential while wearing the Silver and Black.)

OKC lost last night, Clippers lost tonight... That's nice. by nicolaspursfan88
(Yes, very nice. Your Spurs are now only ½ game back in the West. The Spurs will have an easier close to the season than most, so this could work out nicely for them. If they can stay close now, the Spurs may end up with the one seed once the schedule evens out.)

I turned the tv on with 3 to go in the first half. Who's got a quick cap of the first half? by SpursMan
Spurs go up big, get a little sloppy, Philly comes back a little, Spurs start playing again, Timmeh misses dunk, Spurs up big at halftime. by CapHill
The Spurs and Sixers started playing and everyone started typing stuff at each other, and now it is halftime. by oldtimeyspurfan

(This is why Game Threads are fun. With so many personalities all responding to questions in real-time, you get a few of these gems. CapHill gives an accurate recap. OldTimeySpursFan is also accurate, just literal. "Everyone started typing stuff at each other and now it is halftime." That made me laugh.)

It seems that Pop decided to work Bonner back into rotation. He probably would get more minutes at the expense of Duncan in the second half of the season. by Kondor
(I was worried that this may happen. After Bonner's 17 point explosion, I suppose it would have been asking too much to have Pop keep him benched. In 10 minutes, Bonner didn't score missing both of his shots and managed to grab only one rebound. I bet Ghost has run 1,000 game simulations and can give you what Blair would have done in those 10 minutes. I bet it'd more than zero points and one rebound.)

The Sixers are playing right into the Spurs' hands tonight. Denying shots at the rim and from downtown. Unsurprisingly, the Spurs are dominating and the announcers are talking about everything they can that's unrelated to this game because of it. by SAChE
(The game really felt in the Spurs' control until it didn't. It happened fairly fast. In the third quarter, in about three minutes, the Spurs went from cruise control mode to nosedive.)

Spurs falling asleep out there... by In the 666

(zzzzz.... Cruise control.)

Why do we let teams like this get close? They are toying with us all. by TX2NC
(Uh oh, nosedive.)

Poor ball movement on offense, and hot damn, the Sixers cannot miss. by SAChE
(Bad nose dive. Nick Young caught fire and the Spurs seemed helpless. Finally, Pop inserted Tim and Tony back into the game with 8 minutes remaining and the Spurs down four. It took the Spurs' a while to steady the ship, and by that time, the lead had grown to seven and there were only four minutes remaining in the game. Things were not looking good for the Spurs.)

Sixers doing everything they can to let us back into it in the last few minutes. Turnovers, terrible shot selection, etc. but we aren't taking advantage. by JesusChristCantHitACurveball?
(Thank goodness we were playing the 76ers. Down the stretch, Philadelphia managed to go scoreless on 12 straight possessions. Now, the Spurs' definitely increased their defensive intensity, but the 76ers helped out with poor shot selection and many turnovers. The 76ers looked lost as the Spurs took control of the game.)

We have Tim and Tony... that's the difference. by JohnWilSal
(The Spurs ended the game on a 15-3 run. Tony finished with 20 points and 8 assists in a very physical game. Parker also had a team-high 5 turnovers. To his credit, Tony kept pushing the ball and driving into the paint even though he wasn't getting any calls. Tim finished with a monster stat line of 24 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block. Also of note was Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 huge fourth quarter steals. Unfortunately, he seemed to tweak his ankle in the closing minutes and took himself out of the game. We'll publish his injury updates as they become available.)

Well, sloppy as hell, but I'll take it. Good coaching, CIA Pop! by Trey Felder
(It was sloppy, but a win is a win and we need as many of them as we can get. Popovich managed the minutes nicely. In a game that would have tempted most to panic and play the stars more minutes; Pop remained collected, as we have come to expect, and played Tim and Tony the minimum amount of minutes required for the win. Good coaching, CIA POP!)

Never leaving again. Quitting life and focusing on PTR. by play_splitter
(It's good advice. You should follow suit.)