The Spurs continued to struggle shooting at the beginning of this one, hitting just three of their first eleven shots of the contest. Luckily for the Spurs the Clippers missed quite a few open looks of their own and the Spurs trailed 8-12 halfway through the first when Popovich called his first timeout. The rest of the quarter didn't go much better, but the Spurs were down six after missing 17 of their 22 attempts in the quarter.
Surprisingly, the Spurs committed just two turnovers in the quarter and the Clippers blew a couple of possessions with poor passes. Those poor passes, they would have probably been points had they not been mishandled, along with a slew of missed open three looks kept the Spurs in the game after one.
With nothing working offensively for the Spurs in this one, Kyle Anderson saw some court time in the second quarter. He failed to make a single mark on the box score in his 4 and a half minutes of playing time. He wasn't bad out there exactly, but he was pretty much nonexistent.
The Clippers opened up a 10-point lead in the second quarter, but the Spurs hung in the game and only trailed the Clips by three at halftime behind strong performances from Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 25 points on 62% shooting and 11 rebounds in the half. The rest of the team combined for 14 points on 25% from the field and 10 rebounds.
After three the Spurs trailed the Clippers 64-70 after a close quarter. It might have been a two point game, but Aron Baynes missed a chip shot after Blake Griffin had the ball swiped from him. Blake didn't get back on defense and was rewarded with an outlet pass for an uncontested dunk. That's not what you want to see.
Tony Parker has been known to heat up in the fourth quarter and early on he hit a floater in the lane and a tough jumper. Tony then made his way to the free throw line for three points and cut the Clippers lead to two with eight minutes left in the game. But like the Clippers did all night every time the Spurs cut the lead down they responded, this time with a bucket from Blake to push the lead back out to two possessions.
The Spurs kept fighting and in the midst of an extended scoring drought for the Clippers the good guys took their first lead of the night with just under two minutes left to play on a Kawhi Leonard layup. Everything broke the way of the Spurs down the stretch and the Spurs built a five-point lead with under 30 seconds left, but Ginobili was whistled for a foul on Jamal Crawford as he attempted a three. Crawford hit the three freebies to cut the Spurs' lead to two with 25 seconds to play.
For some reason, the Clippers then decided to let 14 seconds run off the clock before fouling Manu Ginobili, but they got very lucky as Manu missed both of his freebies. Fortunately for the Spurs, Tim Duncan protected the rim on Chris Paul's layup attempt. The rebound went to Blake, but he ended up on the ground, called a timeout that they didn't have, and Tony Parker missed the technical free throw and the margin remained at two. With just 1.4 seconds left in the game, the Spurs got the ball in to Kawhi who iced the game at the line.
The Spurs didn't shoot the ball very well, but they didn't turn the ball over very much and the Clippers played just poorly enough for the Spurs to pick up the victory in Los Angeles. With the injuries and the tough schedule, I'll embrace the W with open arms.
Your Spurs improve to 3-3 for the year and will play the Warriors tomorrow night in Oakland.