The Pacers didn't go down easily tonight, as both teams fought hard, but the Spurs had more in the tank tonight as Kawhi Leonard shut down Paul George, who only shot 1-14 for the night. The defense kept the game even until late, when Parker exploded with a series of incredible scoring plays to lead the Spurs to a comfortable win, 106-92.
The first quarter started slowly for both teams as they were ice cold, except for Kawhi Leonard who punished his man one on one on the first play for the Spurs.
But the Spurs didn't consistently exploit this advantage and both teams had trouble scoring. There was some good defense by the good guys, including this great block from Tim Duncan.
TIMMY WITH THE BLOCK! pic.twitter.com/zinjUVaF9p— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 22, 2015
Neither team seemed to make much headway until the Spurs bench came in late in the quarter and started to get a little separation, propelled by some incredible play and passing from Boris Diaw. But what was a six point lead was almost erased by a three from Paul George followed by a slick pushoff by Monta Ellis for the final two of the first quarter, with Patty Mills hitting a free throw in the middle of that Pacers sandwich. The score at the end of the first was 23-21 in favor of the Silver and Black.
The second quarter was a little more free-wheeling, and both teams seemed to flow a little more. Jonathan Simmons came and passed the ball to Patty Mills, scored a 3 point PUJIT (pull up jumper in transition) with 9:17 left to put the Spurs ahead by 7. But the Pacers are not so easy to vanquish, and Paul George started to contribute, both by hitting a shot and by getting teammates like Lavoy Allen open for layups with all of the defensive attention from the Spurs. Tony Parker countered with some smooth jumpers and a sweet assist to Tim Duncan, but at the end of the quarter, neither team had gained any more of an advantage, and the Spurs went into halftime with a two point lead, 50-48.
The third quarter was when Kawhi began to take over. He shut down Paul George and began to dominate on offense. And stole the ball a few times for good measure. The Spurs, who started the game 2-11 from the three point line, began to heat up. At the end of the quarter, the Spurs had gained a little separation and led 79-70.
Tony Parker decided to show off some of his moves in the fourth quarter as he made Pacers defenders look silly as he either used pivot moves to get past or just threaded between then for easy layups. Jordan Hill did his part for the Pacers, with scoring and rebounds. With 3:45 left, Tony found himself guarded by Ian Mahinmi, and put him in a blender, leaving what was left of him pureed on the court and he sunk an easy 5 ft. jumper. Even when things went wrong, it seemed to work out OK for the Spurs, Kawhi got a shot blocked but was able to recover it and flip it to Tony who hit a three to extend the lead to 104-86.
Boban Marjanovic came in with just a little under 2 minutes to go and the backups kept up the intensity, and the Spurs won 106-92.
Music for a winter solstice:
From the innocent days when Pluto was still a planet.
The Spurs' record is now 24-5, and they have a 16-0 record at home. That's undefeated, folks! For the Indy point of view, please visit Indy Cornrows, and be nice. Next game for the Spurs will be in Minnesota against the Timberwolves Wednesday, December 23 at 7:00 PM, Spurs time.