What a performance from the San Antonio Spurs coming off of their tough loss to the Bucks on Tuesday night. The Spurs put an absolute whooping on the visiting Lakers in a game that pretty much was not a contest, dropping a season-high 134 points at the final buzzer.
At the end of the first quarter the Spurs had built a 12-point lead at 36-24 and aside from the Lakers cutting the Spurs lead to four with seven minutes left to play in the second quarter there was no drama in this one. The Spurs finished the second quarter by outscoring Los Angeles 27-13 and basically put the game away at 72-54.
The Silver and Black came out of the gate ready to go in this game and hit 14 of their 24 shots (3-of-5 from deep) for 36 points in the opening period while limiting the Lakers to 24 on 8-of-18. Why did the Spurs take six more shots in the period? Well, they dominated the glass, outrebounding the Lakers 13-6, and they took care of the basketball and only turned it over three times.
Kawhi Leonard was on absolute fire in the first, and the game as a whole, hitting five of his six attempts, 3-of-4 from deep. The sixth-year (kind of crazy it’s been six years, no?) stud finished with a game-high 31 points on just 13 shots. That kind of efficiency is fairly mind-boggling. And he did it in just three quarters and 26 minutes.
By the time the half was over the Spurs had scored 72 points, besting their previous-best first-half of the season by five. They took an 18-point lead into the break, which would only grow as the game went on.
The lead was 31 by the time the third quarter was over and the Spurs were already well over the century mark as the game stood at 106-75. It was going so well of course this happened.
Simmons ends the third quarter with a stylish buzzer beater. pic.twitter.com/DxahRCyOPd— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) January 13, 2017
The fourth quarter saw the end-of-the-bench guys for its entirety. Dejounte Murray scored 10 points in 10 minutes and added a couple of dimes along the way.
There’s not a whole lot to say about or take away from this one. The Spurs were on top of their game and they took care of a young team that’s on a different level than San Antonio. That’s not to say this wasn’t a fun game to watch, it’s always great to see the Spurs move the ball and knock down shots the way they did on Thursday night.
Your Spurs improve to 31-8 for the season and tie their second-best start through 39 games in franchise history. They’re back on pace for 65 wins which still seems completely absurd to me. It’s impossible to know right now how good this team is or will be when it really counts but this has been a really fun season to follow so far.
The team is two games back in the loss column to the Warriors and have a two-game cushion over the Rockets after Houston’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
- The Spurs are 22-0 when they lead by 14 or more points this season. H/T Paul Garcia.
- Kawhi now has 10 30-point games this season and his second in a row. You probably know, but it’s a nice reminder...he had four 30-point games in his first five seasons.
- Whi not some Kawhilights?
- Dewayne Dedmon grabbed a season-high 12 boards and filled up the stat sheet. He finished with a 6-12-2-1-2 line and had a ferocious dunk in the first half (kudos to Jonathon Simmons for the nice feed).
- Pau Gasol scored 20 or more points for the fifth time this season on a 9-for-9 shooting night from the floor. The big Spaniard finished with a game-high plus-29. I kind of hate to bring it up because big Tim is my all-time guy, but Tim Duncan only scored 20 points in a game once last season. And it’s not like the defense has really slipped. Gregg Popovich is a wizard.
- The entire 13-man Spurs roster scored.
- San Antonio tallied 32 assists (their fifth time hitting the 30+ mark) on their 49 buckets. Great to see the team move it like that.
Parker to Green to Gasol. Money. Such quick passing. pic.twitter.com/wcuBOyiEsG— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) January 13, 2017
All five touch the ball & go the length of the court with 5 passes and 4 dribbles and end with a layup. pic.twitter.com/zLRh85ecRe— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) January 13, 2017
- With their strong second-half defensive performance on Thursday night they are tied with the Utah Jazz for the league’s best defensive rating at 101.4. They still have the second best net-rating in the league at +9.8, trailing the Golden State Warriors’ +11.5 mark.
- Get this: the Spurs have the league’s best net-rating since December 1st, posting an incredible +13.3. The Warriors are second at 10.5.
- San Antonio has the league’s best record on the road at 17-3 and the second-best home record at 14-5.
- Oh, I almost forgot. Tony Parker won a jump ball. Seriously.
When's the last time Parker won a jump ball?! pic.twitter.com/8FoQUx8kjA— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) January 13, 2017
The Spurs head down south to Mexico City to take on the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night as a part of the NBA’s Global Games program. Hopefully this trip goes better than the last time the Spurs went to Mexico City, back in December of 2013, when they didn’t get to play the scheduled game against the Timberwolves due to a generator fire that filled the arena with smoke.
That last trip wasn’t a total waste, there was an adorable barefoot scrimmage the Spurs played with some small children the day before the game was supposed to be held.
The game tips off at 5 p.m. Spurs Time.