Friday, February 17, 2012

Spurs Update

Once the Spurs beat New Jersey on Saturday night, they knew another couple days off were awaiting, for only the 2nd time this season. So after 4 days off in 5 days in the NYC area, we were off to take on the Pistons in Detroit. on Valentine's Day.

After a sluggish start by both teams (16-16, 3:15 1Q), SA outscored Detroit 16-6 in those 3 minutes to lead 32-22 after 1Q. Pistons would cut into it immediately and draw within, but the Spurs would push it right back out to 10 before both teams went scoreless for well over 2 minutes (44-34). A late Bonner three would seal the 1st half lead at 9, 55-46.

The 3rd Q would follow the same trend established in the 1st half. We held our lead well throughout, and even extended it to 14 shortly before the 3rd ended 74-62. While the Spurs went scoreless again for 3 minutes, Rodney Stuckey, and Jonas Jerebko

Image Source (Photo by J. Dennis/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

narrowed the deficit to 1 with 7:22 to go. Pistons would take the lead, then give it up, and with 4 minutes to go, it was clear this was gonna be a fight. But Tony & Timmy took it upon themselves to pull it out. The clincher was a Ben Gordon technical foul with 21 seconds left trailing by 3. Not smart at all. Spurs WIN 99-95.

Spurs had SEVEN guys in double figures scoring (Duncan 18 & 13). Stuckey & Prince led them with 23 & 18, respectively.

Not 24 hours later, we'd take the court against the Raptors in Toronto. Oddly enough our shooting was a lot better tonight than in Detroit, holding leads of 8-0, 12-6, and 23-12 after Manu's 1st three since his comeback. A Barbosa buzzer-beater-runner three ended the 1st Q at 25-17. Once again total team contribution would help us hold a nice lead throughout the 2nd Q.. 55-45.

Raptors quickly closed to within 6, then 4, and then tied it up half-way through the 3rd. With some super D, and some great shots by Manu, Bonner, & Tiago, our lead became 9, but wound up 83-78 after 3 Q.

Image Source (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tony Parker has already been playing lights-out yet again, and it was at this time that he & Tiago began a series of several trips down the floor with unstoppable Pick-n-Roll. It was good enough that Pop left Timmy on the bench the rest of the way, until a few defensive breakdowns led to the Raptors closing to within 3 (101-98) with about 2 min. left. Another successful Tiago PnR with Tony, and a trip to the FT line the very next time down the floor, and Toronto was in foul mode with 29 seconds left.

Spurs hit 8 of 9 FTs in the last 1:05 to close out the WIN 113-106. Tony Parker had 34 and 14 asst. on 11-23 shooting, and 12 of 12 FTs. Duncan only had to play 19 minutes while netting 8, while yet again we had SIX players in double figures. Raptors out-shot us 55%-54%, but 8 of 19 from three range, and 23 assists on 41 FGs is good stuff. We even out-rebounded them 37-35.

And that's 9-straight wins! We will travel home to repack, and then finish out this rodeo road trip with some much tougher games, starting tomorrow night at Staples Center vs. the Clippers. Utah, Portland, Denver, and then Chicago back at home. See what I mean?

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