Los Angeles Clippers 106, San Antonio Spurs 84: Not much to say
Games like these happen. The Spurs went into Los Angeles riding a four-game winning streak to start the season, facing a Clippers team that had lost its previous two games at the Staples Center to Golden State and Cleveland. San Antonio walked out a couple hours later, handed a 106-84 thumping by the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
The Spurs’ leading scorer on the night was Danny Green, who had 12 points. The Clippers had four players score at least that many points and seven players total in double figures. Green was really the only player who could get anything going for the Spurs offensively, he knocked down four of his seven shots, three of them 3-pointers.
But Green is a finisher, in a sense. He doesn’t create plays, he simply ends them by taking shots. The guys who create shots (Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili) had a hell of a time getting anything going. The Spurs had 20 turnovers, which kills their offensive efficiency and leads to easy baskets for the opponent. It’s no wonder the Spurs had an 86.1 OffRtg on the night and gave up a 114 DefRtg. In short, they were bad.
I criticized the Clipper defense before the game in a preview over at ClipperBlog. Last night, we saw what Los Angeles’ defense is capable of when they’re playing well. The defensive rotations were solid and they were getting their hands on the ball. They were disruptive, and on nights when the Spurs offense isn’t clicking, that’s going to be a problem. The Clippers deserved a win like this and they got it.
For a long time, the Spurs had said that they were much happier letting Chris Paul score 30 points and only distribute six or eight assists. The idea was that if you force Paul to be a scorer, it hinders the rest of the offense, for whatever team he plays for (Hornets, Clippers). Last night Paul had only 10 points, but racked up 12 assists.
But as I said, games like this happen. You would prefer they didn’t, but it’s not the end of the world. Last night’s performance doesn’t mean that the Clippers are that much better than the Spurs or that San Antonio’s defense is that bad. It was an off-night for pretty much everyone in the silver and black. Luckily for them, they’re back out on the court tomorrow night and 76 more times after that.
I guess we’re going to have to wait a little longer for the Spurs to start a season 5-0.
Advanced statistics on last night’s game courtesy of NBA.com/STATS