I wasn't expecting this to be much of a game even with the Spurs resting Tim Duncan in addition to Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills missing the game due to injury. I mean, we all know it, but the Sixers are a new kind of bad. In fact, coming into this game Philly owned the worst offensive rating in the history of the league. Sam Hinkie has completely mastered tanking. We'll see what he does with all of the juicy picks that are his rewards.
San Antonio opened up a lead early on, but the Spurs went cold midway in the first and the Sixers managed to take a one-point lead at 12-13. I must say, I didn't see that coming. I figured the Spurs would push the game out to 20 early and then cruise the rest of the way. They did open up a 20+ point lead, but they didn't exactly cruise.
Manu Ginobili did his thing at the end of the quarter to put the Spurs up 27-20 after one. The Argentine strung together eight points and an assist in the last two minutes of the quarter.
Ginobili then tossed in four more points in the first minute of the second quarter. It didn't take long for the Spurs to open up their lead and less than four minutes into the second the Spurs had a fifteen point lead. The lead would grow to 24 during the quarter, but Philly ended the second on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 15 going into the half.
The Sixers played hard. You have to give them that. The game was well on its way to becoming a blowout but the young guys on the Philly roster kept competing. Their energy was good and the Spurs were outplayed in the third to the tune of 27-23.
Boris Diaw went coast-to-coast for an and-one during the third which was fun. That was too easy for the big Frenchman.
With the Spurs' lead down to eleven after 36 minutes, the Sixers hit a triple for the first score of the final period to cut their deficit to single digits. The Sixers hung around for the rest of the game and at one point even cut the lead to five, but the Spurs responded with buckets and hung on to pick up the W.
Your Spurs improve to 13-4 for the season.
Check out Liberty Ballers for the Philly fan's perspective.
- Danny Green hit just one of his nine attempts and didn't block a shot on Monday night, but he was a team-high +14 in his 26 minutes.
- Kawhi Leonard matched his career high with 26 points. He did it efficiently, needing just 15 shots, and he's now scored 19, 21, 21 and 26 over his last four games. He also led the team on the boards with 10. I think that's just fantastic.
- The Spurs allowed the Philly offense to score 103 points. That's the second most points the Spurs have allowed this season (Sacramento 103.)
GIF of the Night:
On the 76ers
I was impressed with the 76ers. I know they're dying [to get a win]. You watch the way they played, it's a testament to great leadership on the coaching side and great fortitude and professionalism by the players. It's hard to come out there night after night and not get the wins. I've seen lots of teams at every level just give in and give up. These guys came after us with everything. They were physical, they were aggressive, they ran their stuff, they did what they wanted to do and they were disciplined. They come up with another loss but it's amazing to me how they keep doing that, but it is a testament to their character and the stick-to-it-iveness of the coaches to come in and do it every day. It's really impressive.
On Kawhi playing in the post late in the game
We're just trying to improve that part of his game because I think as we move forward he's going to be a major scorer for us so we're trying to get him to loosen up a little bit, give him more of a green light. Part of that is post play.
On resting Manu
For us it's not about winning and losing at this part of the year. For us it's always been about being healthy come playoff time and being at our best at that point. Part of that is not overplaying guys. Had we lost tonight, it would be a loss, but Manu would still be healthy and not hurt. I wanted to sit him and give some other guys an opportunity to play. You can tell Philly is in better shape than our subs are. They're not used to playing that many minutes and they were sucking wind, boy I'll tell you, they were tired in the second half, that's for sure.
On how the second unit responded to not having a true backup point guard
They had no clue. They had no clue.
The Spurs take on the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Wednesday at 6:30 Spurs time.