El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 103, Los Angeles Clippers 100
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you guys know that I didn’t see the first half of this game. I had an unavoidable meeting and made it back in time for the game as soon as I could. That was at halftime. So what you read below are my opinions on the game from the third quarter on through overtime.
|Tim Duncan, C 41 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-4 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | +14
Wow, 41 minutes for Tim Duncan. What do you think you are, 25 years old? Duncan was excellent on the glass in this game and made the key assist to Gary Neal for the go-ahead 3 in overtime. He even drew a double-team to open it up!
|Richard Jefferson, SF 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -4
Nothing especially productive from RJ. He fumbled a key pass in the corner on one of the last plays in the fourth quarter, when it looked like the Spurs would lose the game.
|DeJuan Blair, F 17 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -17
An efficient night offensively for DeJuan, but he didn’t play a lot of minutes as Pop opted to go small defensively and spread the floor with Matt Bonner offensively. That makes Blair the odd man out, even though he is kind of small.
|Tony Parker, PG 45 MIN | 11-22 FG | 8-11 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 30 PTS | +15
Went up against the guy ESPN.com has third in its MVP rankings right now (Chris Paul) and out-shined him. Parker was undoubtedly the go-to guy for the Spurs offensively late in this game and he did his part to keep them in it.
|Daniel Green, G 36 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +3
Did a good job harassing Chris Paul on defense, which is a difficult task, and made a handful of plays offensively. I still hate that he reaches on defense when there’s no doubt a guy will score and Green risks the cheap And-1.
|Matt Bonner, PF 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +3
Got knocked around a bit in this game, but his presence on offense helped open up the driving lanes for Tony Parker and give Tim Duncan some space down low. Pretty standard game for Bonner.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -5
Injured oblique muscle. No timetable on his return as of yet. According to Buck Harvey of the Express-News, he originally injured it against Detroit. “I think we lost him again,” Coach Pop said after the game, per J.A. Adande. The D is just a placeholder grade since I never really saw him play today.
|Gary Neal, PG 27 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -3
I have no idea where to start to write about Gary Neal’s night. He fumbles away a pass with the Spurs down three and just seconds remaining. Hits a 3 on a crazy play to force overtime. Hits a go-ahead 3 in overtime than was the difference and missed two free throws that could’ve iced the game. Richter scale type of game.
|Tiago Splitter, C 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +2
Strained calf muscle. No word on how long he’s going to be out. For his grade, see Manu above.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +4
Not much offensively, but was key in getting in Chris Paul’s face on the last play of the game without fouling. That gives him a slight bump over whatever I was going to give him without.
|Cory Joseph, G 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +3
|James Anderson, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
James is still the odd man out of the rotation.
Four Things We Saw
- Gary Neal foreshadowed his big 3s late in the game when he stopped a Clippers 17-0 run with a big 3-pointer in the third quarter.
- The rims at the Staples Center are mic’d obnoxiously loud. It’s the same in Dallas. They do it so that dunks sound good on TV, but what you get is a terrible noise when players clank jumpshots and audio featuring lots of guys complaining about fouls. Kenyon Martin spent a couple of minutes late in the game swearing so loud that Andrew Monaco had to apologize for his language on the broadcast.
- I thought the Spurs looked a little selfish offensively in the third quarter. I could be wrong, but I thought there were several times that guys took shots that normally they make one more pass for a better shot.
- The blame for that crazy Clippers turnover late in the game falls on Ryan Gomes in my book. Chris Paul was clearly running into the backcourt to take the pass there, but Gomes threw it in the front court. Paul, not wanting to get a backcourt violation, sort of tossed it away. Problem is, he tossed it right to the “Nail Gun” Gary Neal. He should’ve taken the backcourt violation.