When it's your night, it's your night. The Spurs could do no wrong while the ailing Suns could do little to nothing right as San Antonio trailed 2-0 and then never looked back. A floater from Ginobili at the end of the opening quarter put the Spurs up 20, a lead they would maintain for the rest of the game. Tim Duncan missed his third straight game with "knee soreness" (wink, wink) while Phoenix received a devastating blow Tuesday when they announced star guard Eric Bledsoe would miss the remainder of the season with knee surgery. The hits kept on coming for the Suns as the Spurs blew them out of the building to the tune of 112-79. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 21 points, while Kawhi Leonard pitched in 19.
The Spurs starting unit, which again included David West in place of a resting Tim Duncan, struggled scoring points in the early going. This would not last as the good guys found a groove on offense to finish the quarter with a commanding 32-12 lead. LaMarcus Aldridge, fresh off a season-worst 6 points Monday night, scored 8 points in the first quarter and would finish the half with 12 points and 6 boards. Slow offense out of the gate has become commonplace for the Silver and Black, but as long as that continues to be accompanied by stifling defense, fans should not fret. It's a process.
We've all grown accustomed to Kawhi and Timmy's defensive exploits, and even recognize that Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge are above average defenders, but it was Manu Ginobili's defensive effort in the first half that stood out. Manu spent every minute hounding his man on defense, deflecting balls and jumping in passing lanes. Though Ginobili plays with unrivaled passion on a nightly basis, the game off he received this weekend appears to have done wonders for his overall energy. Fan favorite, destroyer of worlds and thief of hearts Boban Marjanovic subbed in for Aldridge late in the first quarter. Only 2 first half points for the Bobinator this game, a merciful gesture that would not be shared by his teammates as the Spurs went into halftime with a 61-33 lead. Boris Diaw deployed his arsenal of nimble post moves to shimmy his way to 8 points.
The Suns, who were down by as much as 31 points in the first half, put forth a sharp effort in the third quarter but failed to make a significant dent in the deficit. Both teams traded baskets for the bulk of the frame as LaMarcus Aldridge continued to show Phoenix what they missed out on in free agency. LaSharkus smelled blood in the water and hunted for buckets relentlessly, finishing the third with 21 points and 12 rebounds on 8-12 from the field. Great bounce back game from the star big man after averaging just 9 points in his previous two outings. Spurs went into the fourth with an 84-56 lead.
Kyle Anderson, Patty Mills, Matt Bonner and of course the Boban were the stars of the fourth quarter as the reserves continued to put their foot on Phoenix's throat. Marjanovic finished the night with 7 points and 12 rebounds in 15 minutes! His player efficiency rating and per-36 minute stats are, and will remain, off the charts. Timmy rests (again), LaMarcus finds his groove, and the bench puts on another stellar effort in a big home win. Can't ask for much more than that. Except for more Boban. We'll always ask for more Boban. Also, your San Antonio Spurs are now 28-6. The crazy part is we haven't seen them play anywhere close to their peak. An exciting 2015 is coming to a close, but 2016 has even bigger things in store for the Silver and Black. Stay tuned.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT
OH MAMA! Manu doing the voodoo that he does so well! Kawow being as nonchalant about an exciting play as only he could. Spurs gonna Spurs!
BOBAN MAKES SPURS HISTORY
I'm just gonna leave this here. Long live The Boban.
Boban Marjanovic is the first player in franchise history to record at least 12 rebounds in 15 minutes or less.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 31, 2015