The short-handed Spurs, without Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili, sagged in the final quarter but grinded out a win against a scrappy 76er team. led by rookie wunderkind Jahlil Okafor behind solid play from Tim Duncan and Kyle Anderson, with a strong contribution from LaMarcus Aldridge who pulled in 19 rebounds and scored 17 despite not having any plays called for him during the entire game.
The first quarter a was strong one for the good guys and the Spurs surged to a 20-12 lead behind strong defensive play from Kyle Anderson and some guy named Tim Duncan. Ray McCallum made some unexpected contributions, using his speed to get open baskets at the rim. Neither team shot well, but the Spurs were especially terrible from range, shooting 0-7 from three in the first half. Danny Green started to pass up open shots, which is something I don't think I've seen from him before.
The second quarter was a bit more ragged. The bench misses the play of Manu Ginobili, who is the main facilitator for the group. If it weren't for Timmy physically dominating the slight Nerlens Noel, it might have been even closer, but after Noel picked up his third foul, The Sixers put Jahlil Okafor back in the game and he was able to use his quickness and grace to keep the Sixers close. On the final play of the half, JaKarr Sampson tipped in a basket just before the horn to get the score to 43-39 in favor of the silver and black.
In the third quarter, Kyle Anderson had some open three-point shots, and for a change, took what was offered and hit them. That guy Tim blocked some shots, and pushed his career total to 2,955, passing up David Robinson for 5th all time. Aldridge didn't have many plays called for him, but he was active and picked something like a million rebounds in the quarter. At the end of the third, the Spurs had a more comfortable 76-60 lead over the young ones.
The fourth quarter started with the Spurs holding court until about 7:00 minutes left, then they started to play a little lackadaisically, and the Sixers showed that they are a professional basketball team. This game, the Spurs second unit suffered from not having Manu to lean upon to facilitate when the offense went stagnant. The Sixers went on a 10-0 streak to cut the 85-79 with 5:35 left before LaMarcus got fouled and dropped two free throws at the four minute mark. Pop put the starters back in, but quickly pulled Tony Parker after it was clear that he had been on the bench too long and replaced him with Patty Mills.
Kyle Anderson and Tim Duncan came back in and were able to calm the team down and close out the game, along with key rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge. Matt Bonner closed out the scoring for both teams with a free throw, his only point of the game, and the final score was 92-83. Boban Marjanovic got into the game with 20 seconds left, and dominated for all 20 of them.
Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Monday, November 14th, 7:30 PM CT at the AT&T Center. The Spurs have a quick rematch with the Blazers, who have some talented starters, but don't have much depth.