San Antonio Spurs 108, Houston Rockets 95
AT&T CENTER — Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin is considered by some to be one of the most efficient scorers in the league. He started out Saturday night’s game against the Spurs proving that theory correct, scoring 10 points in the first quarter on 4-6 shooting.
Martin was 2-2 from the 3-point line and scored on a pair of layups as the Rockets led 26-25 after one quarter.
By the time the Spurs had finished off the Rockets in a 108-95 win, Martin still had 10 points.
The Spurs prevented Martin from getting to the basket and instead let him shoot 0-5 from the 3-point line the rest of the night.
“I think sometimes you can’t settle for just taking long shots,” Rockets Head Coach Rick Adelman said after the game. “They put a little false pressure on us and we gave into it.”
Luis Scola was the Rockets’ best player on the night, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But the defense the Spurs played on Kevin Martin left Coach Pop pleased.
“I thought we did a good job on Martin,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “They depend on him to get a lot of scoring done, so that helped us out.
“We played pretty solid defense throughout the game, especially in the second half.”
When Coach Pop is happy about the defense, and the Spurs have the scoring distribution that they showed against Houston (six players were in double figures, all five starters had at least 10 points early in the third quarter), there’s a very good chance that the Spurs will win.
Really, if Coach Pop is happy about the defense, then the Spurs probably won.
Offensively, I struggle to call it balance, because six players scored 97 of the Spurs’ 108 points. But it’s a great sign for San Antonio’s offense that so many players were able to score the ball well.
Even better were the variety of ways those players were able to score the ball. Manu Ginobili was 4-6 from the 3-point line, DeJuan Blair had four or five dunks finishing plays, Tony Parker was effective getting to the basket for layups and George Hill hit 7-8 free throws.
Richard Jefferson also had a solid all-around offensive night. He attacked the basket well and hit 2-3 from beyond the 3-point arc for his 18 points.
“He was aggressive all night, he played well,” Coach Pop said. “He caught with the idea of trying to be a scorer whether it was shooting the ball or driving it.”
The Spurs now embark on the fabled Rodeo Road Trip, with 40 wins already under their belt. Normally a time when the team comes together heading into the season’s stretch-run, San Antonio can afford to drop a couple of games.
But if they don’t lose many games? The Spurs can probably pencil themselves in for home court advantage throughout the playoffs.