This performance was somewhat of a letdown. It’s probably human nature, but it was disappointing to see the team come out with a fraction of the energy and edge they had Thursday night. Their defense was lacking for much of the game, and they missed 9 FTs after shooting a great percentage over the last week. Still, the Spurs did enough. They limited their turnovers to a reasonable 13, were nearly even in rebounds (though they gave up 12 offensive to their own 8), shot 53% on the night, 45% from 3PT, handed out 26 assists and scored 121 points to win the game.
Tony and Manu were great in this one, taking turns carrying the team offensively for stretches. TP had a season high 30 pts (11-19, 7-8 FT) along with 5 ast while Manu finished with 24 (10-17) and 5. Kawhi was pretty sublime himself, going for 17 pts (5-6, 6-7 FT) 7 reb 4 ast 2 steals 2 blocked shots. Again, it was his 4Q defense that helped the Spurs pull away. Kawhi and Danny were the two defensive bright spots throughout this game. Danny had a strong all-around game with 12 pts (4-4, all threes) 6 reb 4 ast 2 bs. He probably should’ve gotten a few more shots, all told. Tiago came on strong early in the 4Q running the pick and roll with Manu. He finished with 14 pts (5-9, 4-5 FT) 6 reb. Timmy had a dreadful night by his standards but still ended with 11 pts (4-13) 10 reb 2 ast 3 bs. Boris had 8 pts 8 reb 2 ast.
Next game is in Chicago vs the Bulls on Tuesday night.
Tim Duncan hits the jumpers in los Spurs’ 111-87 win over el Heat.
Tim Duncan posted his 8th 20/10 game of the season (23 pts, 11 rebs) and the 486th of his career, most among any active player in the NBA.
The Spurs came out with great energy in this one. In a welcome change from the recent string of slow starts they did their work early, jumping out to a 37-22 lead with 22 paint points in the 1Q. They were outscored in each of the next two quarters but retained an 8-point lead going into the 4Q thanks to their 1Q work. The Spurs sealed the victory by forcing the Heat into 10 turnovers and 5-16 shooting in the final frame. Notes: SA won the rebound battle 45-36, points in the paint 46-38, and fast break points were even at 14. 18 turnovers for the Spurs is still too high, but they were able to pressure the Heat into 21.
SA had a balanced scoring attack as they topped 30 team assists again and all 9 of the usual rotation players scored at least 6 pts. Timmy was great, leading with 23 pts (9-13, 5-5 FT) 11 reb 2 ast 1 bs. Tony had some impressive drives and 10 pts in the 1Q. He wasn’t much of a factor in the 2nd half but finished with 17 pts 4 ast 2 steals. For the second game in a row Boris was perfect from the field, going 5-5 for 16 pts 8 reb 5 ast. Kawhi didn’t have one of his better shooting performances (4-13), but his action was great. Not only did he do a good job contesting LeBron defensively, but he went back at him on offense as well. I really believe in his ability to score on LBJ and, at the very least, make him work. Kawhi missed a lot of shots tonight, but he got great looks by attacking without hesitation. He finished with 11 pts 5 reb 5 steals and was the linchpin of the Spurs’ great 4Q defense. Patty Mills had 9 pts (3-6) 10(!) reb 4 ast. Marco had 8 pts 2 reb 3 ast. Tiago had 7 pts 2 reb 4 ast. Danny went for 6 pts 3 reb 3 ast 3 bs and Manu had 6 pts 4 ast. Austin Daye hit a couple threes after both teams emptied their benches. Although this Spurs team is very similar to last year’s, Patty’s improvement and Boris’s newfound aggressiveness, along with the addition of Marco, could make a difference come playoff time. We shall see.
The Spurs host the Magic on Saturday night.
Kawhi Leonard with the slam in the Spurs’ 122-101 win over the Cavaliers.
Timmy, Manu, & Boris sharing a laugh during the 4th quarter blowout against the Cavaliers.
Kawhi Leonard - 3.4.14