El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 91, Los Angeles Lakers 85

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San Antonio Spurs 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 Los Angeles Lakers
Boris Diaw, PF 22 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -4

It wasn’t all great across the box score for Bobo, but his fourth quarter was massive for a Spurs team that needed a boost. Diaw put up 11 of his 14 points in the final period, continuing his impressive play as a scorer early in the season. If this continues, San Antonio’s second unit will be in great shape going forward.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 32 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +11

Kawhi didn’t have a great night shooting the ball, but his consistency as a defender and rebounder once again made a big difference, especially with Tim Duncan in street clothes. In a game like this, contributions in those areas were very important even if his offense wasn’t all there.

Tiago Splitter, C 32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-3 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +16

Another player who didn’t have a great night on the offensive end who made his contributions on the boards. Splitter missed WAY too many bunnies, but 14 rebounds and a plus-16 in the +/- category made a big difference against the Lakers’ frontcourt. Though he did get better as the game went along after struggling early.

Tony Parker, PG 36 MIN | 12-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +14

Parker was brilliant in 36 minutes against the Lakers. His mid-range game was going and his inside moves were flowing in yet another vintage performance from the Spurs’ All-Star point guard. On a night where Duncan sat with a chest injury, Parker’s contributions were an absolute necessity against those scrappy Lakers.

Danny Green, SG 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +1

Oof. Danny struggled. His missed dunk attempt alone may have been worthy of an ‘F’ … except for the fact that it created a new meme. Thanks to Green, we now have ‘Danny Green-ing.’ Plus, he hit a three and played his usual steady defense.

Aron Baynes, PF 12 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -11

Baynesie did not have the best of nights. He missed all four of his shots and was a team-worst negative-11 in the +/- category. He was often out of position and was pulled in favor or Ayres as the fourth quarter moved along.

Jeff Ayres, PF 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | +11

Ayres’ jumper was miserable in this one, but he played solid defense and did his part on the boards. Despite struggling offensively, Gregg Popovich had enough confidence in the guy to give him some minutes down the stretch when Lakers forward Jordan Hill started causing problems.

Matt Bonner, PF 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

When Matty isn’t hitting his shots, he’s tough to keep on the floor. Still, he played decent defense and got in the opposition’s way as much as usually does. He missed both of his three-point attempts, which never helps his +/- stats.

Patty Mills, PG 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8

Patty provided a little energy early on, but he didn’t have nearly the same impact in this one as he did in the season-opener. He was back to his more erratic self. Mills looks great physically, but he’s not the type of player who will always be consistent. Still, he’s got Pop’s vote of confidence as the clear-cut backup point guard … at this point, at least.

Cory Joseph, PG 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Was brought on to play defense late in the game, so there’s not much to grade the guy on. But it seems he’s lost his backup point guard spot to Patty Mills.

Manu Ginobili, SG 27 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +5

Manu was vintage. He hit 50 percent of his shots, looked spry and fresh once again, and got his hands on a late steal that led to a game-clinching dunk. If he continues to play like this, San Antonio will have another huge year.

Marco Belinelli, SG 16 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Hit a big shot in the fourth quarter and had a nice sequence when the game was close, but wasn’t much of a factor overall. Still, the impact he made in the final frame is certainly worth some consideration on a night when most of the team was off.

Nando de Colo, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Nando didn’t play, soooo…..

Gregg Popovich

Tough to grade a coach when so many players are missing shots, but Pop pulled the right strings down the stretch, especially with Diaw. And once again, his team pulled out a close win without anyone notching too much time on the court. He’s always got his thumb squarely on things.

One Thing We Saw

  1. It was an overall sloppy game from the Spurs on the road without Tim Duncan. But Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili picked up the slack, as they’re expected to do as the other two parts of the Big Three. Speaking of, perhaps talk of eliminating Ginobili from said Big Three was a bit premature. Manu was vintage in this one.
  • td4life

    Manu does look spry, and that doesn’t surprise me after a summer’s rest. Has he learned to condition his body to withstand the rigors of a long season, so that he will still look great as the playoffs unfold? Also, playing against the bench units early in the year isn’t the same as playing against the Heat’s closers. I like the layups, I love threes and low turnovers, but I need health from number 20.

  • rj

    baynesie certainly looked out -of-sorts and didn’t get any help from the whistles. danny green needs to learn how to play basketball. his tentativeness has hurt the team early on.

    hopefully mills and baynes struggles are eased with more court time. baynes will certainly get it with timmy out and mills being the immediate back-up point option.

    i dont like bill simmons

  • theghostofjh

    Nice job with the grades. Back-up bigs need to step up better than that, especially when Duncan is out. Honestly, they could have used ex-Spurs Blair in that game.

  • Andy M.

    Patty Mills deserves a better grade for his defensive effort than posted.

  • Matthew R Tynan

    Mills was bad defensively last night. Posted a defensive rating of nearly 120 points per 100 possessions.

  • junierizzle

    What’s up with Green? I know its early but whoa, daddy!

    It is nice to see vintage Manu. I just wish we could fast forward to April.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Giving Diaw way too much credit. Looks like your grading his offense only. 1 reb. If they are going to make Diaw the focal point of this offense then we are in trouble.