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San Antonio at Los Angeles, Final Score: Spurs hold on to defeat Clippers 116-113

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Patty Mills’ shooting led the Spurs to a big lead, while the Clippers closed late, but the Spurs hang on for a three point win

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes Patty Mills is overlooked, but tonight he hit eight three-point shots and led the Teal, Orange and Pink clad Spurs to a big lead several times. But the Clippers leaned on Kawhi Leonard to carry the offense, and Patrick Beverley had one of his best nights scoring, as he had to take up the slack from a missing Paul George. The Clippers closed the score to just two points in the final seconds, but Patty Mills was fouled, hitting one of two foul shots. The Clippers had one last shot to win it, but a masked Kawhi Leonard couldn’t hit the final shot as the DeMar DeRozan made him take a difficult shot and he missed, giving the Spurs a 3 point win, breaking a four game losing streak.

Observations

  • I’m getting too old for these west coast late tipoffs. I almost fell asleep before the game started.
  • Bill Land called #2 on the Clippers Hannibal Leonard in the pre-game, and it’s good to see that I’m not the only who thought that when I saw that mask.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge gets a lot of flak from fans who think he’s too old and slow to play any more, but the offense just looks a lot more fluid when he’s on the floor.
  • Keldon in the mix makes this team so much better. His energy is contagious.
  • Vassell was taught a bit of a lesson trying to guard Lou Williams, as he reached and gifted Lou with three free throws.
  • Patty Mills outscored the Clippers 10-0 in a little over a minute at the end of the first quarter.
  • With Paul George out, the Clippers didnt have a lot of scoring options beyond Kawhi. Their second offensive option among starters is probably Batum, and he’s not that good any more. Patrick Beverley is a tough defender, but he’s not that great at shooting the ball [after I wrote this, he started to illogically hit every shot he took]. Lou Williams is their second-best scorer, but they need him on the bench unit to keep the team in games when the starters rest.
  • This fast break bucket from Lonnie Walker IV is everything. It’s the dance move at the end that makes it special.
  • Who was that masked man?
  • I may be biased, but I think the Fiesta Jerseys are the best looking uniforms in the league.
  • The Spurs are undefeated in road games wearing the Fiesta jerseys.

Game Flow

The Spurs jumped out a quick 9-0 lead with both teams badly missing some long shots, but the Spurs getting into the paint and taking advantage with Keldon Johnson and LaMarcus Aldridge in the paint. After a timeout, the Clippers cleaned things up a bit, and took the lead on a Kawhi steal and breakaway dunk late in the quarter. But the Spurs finished strong as Patty Mills got hot from beyond the arc and scored the last 13 points for the good buys, staking them to a 36-27 lead after a quarter.

Devin Vassell started off the scoring in the second and the Spurs went wild from three, rushing out to a big lead. Everything began to flow for San Antonio, and they couldn’t do any wrong on either end of the court and ran the lead to over 24 as the Spurs hit their shots and the Clippers couldn’t hit anything. With nothing working for the Clips, the masked man decided to take the game into his own hands and he started to work one-on-one, and the Clips began to cut into the lead. The Spurs held on the best they could and led 63-44 at the half.

The Clippers started out the second half on an 11-4 run as Kawhi took over, and Pop needed a timeout. The Clippers cut the lead to 6 at one point as Pat Beverley illogically suddenly became a good three-point shooter. LaMarcus Aldridge finally began to get the ball and hit some shots to push the lead back to double digits, but the Spurs couldn’t maintain it, and led just by a point at the end of the quarter 85-84, having been outscored 39-22 in the quarter. [Later corrected to 85-83 by the refs, who changed a Luke Kennard three to a two point shot.]

The Clippers tied the score as the final quarter began with a Zubac layup. The Spurs then went on a 12-0 run to lead by a dozen. Patty Mills started to go insane from beyond the arc as he staked the Fiesta clad cagers to a 15 point lead. But the Clippers weren’t done yet, and Pat Beverly led the Clippers on a run to cut the lead back to single digits. The Clips turned up the volume on their defense and closed the score to 115-113 with 13 seconds left. The Spur somehow allowed an open look for Kennard, but he missed, and Pat Beverley fouled Patty Mills who hit one of two free throws. With a 3 point lead and 5 seconds left in the game, Leonard took the shot to tie it, and the Spurs won 116-113

Music Break

Clipper ships are made of wood, right? Very free and easy.


What’s Next . . .

For the Clippers fans’ perspective, visit ClipsNation.

The Spurs will be back in Staples Center on Thursday night at 9:00 to face the Lakers, who just beat them twice last week. It will be the last game against the defending champs this season, so this will be the last chance to avoid a season sweep from the LeBrons.