Players not available for the game: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith.
The starting lineup for the Spurs featured a backcourt of Cory Joseph and Danny Green along with a frontcourt of Kyle Anderson, Matt Bonner and Aron Baynes. It took this crew 1:03 to convince Popovich that it was time to talk things over. The score -- Spurs down 0-3. Typical Pop.
The start to this game was pretty ridiculous. Matt Bonner weaved through the lane and fed Kyle Anderson the ball for a sweet dunk. It featured Jason Smith and Samuel Dalembert working down low for the Knicks. It featured lots of passing from the Spurs, much of it two to three feet off. Aron Baynes passed it to no one on one possession. Marco Belinelli bowled over Jose Calderon in an iso from the top of the arc and hit a ridiculous fadeaway jumper. Boris Diaw had his shot blocked by the Knicks defense but Jeff Ayres' hands somehow found the ball and then he dunked it. Austin Daye HIT BACK TO BACK THREES. IT WAS COMPLETE CHAOS.
By the time the first quarter came to an end the Spurs had a 29-26 lead. It was thrilling! This wasn't pretty basketball even with the teams shooting 63% (Knicks) and 55% (Spurs) from the field. Spurs fans get to watch pretty basketball fairly often and it's great, but this was different, this was totally unpredictable. Anything was possible.
It settled down in the second quarter and somehow this Spurs squad had just two turnovers at halftime. The Knicks somehow managed to shoot 56.8% from the field and 100% (8/8) from the line and be trailing the Spurs 52-56.
The third quarter featured six straight free throws for Aron Baynes that stretched the Spurs lead to 10 and they didn't stop there as they outscored the Knicks 38-21 behind a hailstorm of threes from Marco Belinelli to take a 94-73 lead into the final period.
The fourth quarter was kind of a blur. This one was over. The Spurs B Team proved way too much for a Melo-less Knicks. J.R. Smith was out as well, but man...this Knicks team is awful.
GIF of the Night:
We're going Matty Bonner, because I can't explain to you how much fun I had watching him go all Red Mamba on the Knickerbockers.
Matt Bonner dribbled five times, wove through three defenders, switched hands, found Kyle Anderson for a SloMo dunk and didn't break his stride on the way back to the other end. I wish he hadn't looked back, but still, someone get that man a sandwich.
This time Matty went pump fake, drive, super-sweet hesitation, two more dribbles and then a jump step into a righty hook swish. That's when I fell out of my chair.
Your Spurs improve to 16-6 on the season.