Spurs use balance, Danny Green’s hot hand to down 76ers
You could see pretty early on where this one was going. First it was 6-0, then 14-7, then 24-13 and the Spurs never looked back, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 109-85 Monday night. Danny Green led the Spurs with 18 points and was one of six in double figures.
Green has now scrored 18 or more in three of his last four games. In that time he’s also shooting 55 percent from 3 and that includes a 1-5 stinker against Golden State. The seven rebounds a game have been an added bonus. Green’s recent play is the most glaring example of the recent offensive turnaround for the Spurs. In both of their quick two game East Coast road trip, San Antonio has outscored the Knicks and Sixers by a combined 36 points (the second game with no Tim Duncan who was out for rest reasons). That speaks to the job they’ve done tightening up the defense and the open looks starting to fall.
Monday’s victory also gave us a little bit of everything from Kawhi Leonard. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. There was a stretch in third quarter where Leonard drove the lane and hung in the air for a layup then hit a couple of pull-up jumpers in the half court set. Right now the only thing Kawhi doesn’t do well on offense is get to the free throw line. This season, he’s only averaging 1.6 free throw attempts per game. He seems willing to settle for the mid-range jumper when he has a defender one-on-one in space. That’s fine, because he’s an excellent mid-range shooter, but even averaging four or five free throw attempts a game would really open up his game.
-Tony Parker finished with 14 points and nine assists and didn’t seem to force anything. You hear the cliche “take what the defense gives you” a lot but that’s just what Parker did Monday night.
-Former Spur James Anderson got the start for the 76ers and finished with seven points. So, not exactly a revenge game, but it’s great to see him getting an opportunity to play heavy minutes for Sixers head coach and former Spurs assistant Brett Brown.
-Spurs are now 7-1 and return home Wednesday to take on the Washington Wizards. Tip-off from the AT&T Center is 7:30 p.m..