After three very long GIF Breakdowns, I get a break since the Spurs didn't exactly drop any jaws in this one. Let's move through the game quickly and then look forward to the next one.
Kawhi Leonard has found success when Wes Matthews is matched up guarding him one-on-one in the post, and he continued to find points there halfway through the first quarter. Kawhi works his way into the paint and Wes can't get to Leonard's release point.
Here Nicolas Batum just abuses Manu Ginobili from the three point line. He backs Gino down and goes right into his body to draw the foul and converts a tough banker in the lane.
Sometimes it's just not your night. Boris sucks in the defense as he drives into the paint with the shot clock winding down and delivers a good pass to Kawhi in the corner, who then proceeds to miss worse than I've ever seen him miss. It's funny that he keeps his hand up like it felt good, it was probably the wind.
Marco Belinelli made a couple of nice plays last night. He works a dribble hand-off with Boris and drives through the lane, beating LaMarcus Aldridge and finishing with a nice little flip up and in.
It's Beli again, this time running the give-and-go with Duncan. Duncan doesn't make the most accurate pass, but Marco handles it and he gets a leaning banker to drop to pull the Spurs within one early in the second quarter.
Boris Diaw might not be the fastest player, but once he gets going and you let him get in the lane at a good clip he's probably going to score. So when Marco found him trailing in transition there was little that Robin Lopez could do to stop that highly-skilled man.
I guess we should be happy that Robin Lopez didn't decide to defend a man at the rim like Wes Matthews does here. Last night Thomas Robinson seemed to take exception to a legal screen from Tiago that sent Earl Watson flying to the ground, and he reacted with a shove and a forearm that sent Tiago to the line. Apparently that wasn't enough for the Blazers, and when Splitter went up for the layup in transition Wes punched the Brazilian in the face. He's probably going to be hearing from the league for that one. He might have gotten away with just the punch, but he goes for more as Splitter is already going to the ground.
Thanks to SanAntonioGiant for this revealing angle
Kawhi doesn't run too many pick-and-rolls, but here he makes a nice dish to Tiago in the paint which leads to an easy basket for Splitter.
The Blazers have apparently run out of creativity and are now just blatantly stealing plays from the Spurs' playbook. You may remember that the Spurs ran this exact same play between Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw in the last game. Nicolas Batum, who was great all game, finds Wes Matthews right under the basket for a shot clock beating score.
The Spurs had chances to maybe make things interesting in the fourth, but four of the top-20 most accurate shooters from deep this season (three in the top-11) just couldn't put the ball in the hoop on what were decidedly good looks.
I expect that the Spurs will come out on Wednesday with the appropriate focus and energy to finish off the Blazers.