Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spurs Update

This past Tuesday and Wednesday the San Antonio Spurs braced themselves for back-to-back road games at Cleveland and at Boston. We've only had one game in the last five days (two days of rest on both sides), so we should definitely be ready to rumble.

Tuesday night in Cleveland Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard started us off with several early buckets, just before Tony & Tim were successful in most of the next several trips down the floor, as we took an early lead
Image Source (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

25-16. Manu, Jack, and Neal would pile it on for a 32-18 1st-Q lead. Tiago Splitter would have a great 2nd-Q, and help the Spurs to a 19-point 60-41 halftime lead. This was a quarter that also saw Daniel Green hit 2 more threes for a total of four for the first half!

Anthony Parker would lead a Cavs' charge to open the 2nd half, as they would pinch the lead down to 14. Tony Parker was not to be denied, however, as his 10 early 3rd-Q points, along with James Anderson's 5 would lead the Spurs to a serious 27-point lead (90-63). Enter Patty Mills.

Having already relieved TP for a solid 7 points late in the 3rd-Q, Mills would score another 13 in the 4th for an incredible 20-2-2 line on 8 of 11 shooting (4 of 5 from three). Blair & Neal had super 4th-Q's as well as the lead would balloon to as much as 37. Wow. The Cavaliers were never in this game, although to their credit, they had seven players in double figures - led by Antawn Jamison (15). We out-shot the Cavs 59%-42%, 46-27 rebs., 31-23 assts., and hit 11 of 23 from three - a nice 48%. The 125-90 beatdown WIN was an example of the way we should be beating almost every team right now. Here's the boxscore..

That would be 8 in a row, now.


Wednesday night in Boston things didn't come quite as easy. The Celtics have been playing very well lately, having won their last 5, and 7 of 8. They would also get Ray Allen back tonight after several games with an injured ankle. Kevin Garnett would come out angry, and make almost everything he put up for the first several minutes. Boston would jump out to a quick 16-11 lead. Resilient, Parker, Splitter, and Jackson would lead the Spurs on a 16-4 run to close the 1st-Q for a
Image Source (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

27-20 lead. But then the Celtics would make the game close again very quickly, as Avery Bradley would nail 11-straight for them. He's a good player. (Former UT product!) The Spurs, however, would go on another serious 14-2 run to take the 36-36 tie to a 50-38 lead. Bonner, Neal, & Duncan were key in this little run. Danny Green would close out the exciting half with a three, and the 59-48 lead.

As fun as this has been so far, the 3rd-Q was probably the worst Q of basketball we've played this season. And it wasn't just us. Boston was "playing along" and supplemented our sloppiness with more sloppiness. For the quarter, it was Boston 16, Spurs 9. Six Spurs' turnovers, many bad decisions, and ...well you didn't miss anything at all if you missed this Q. I think we were scoreless for 8 total minutes in 2 separate stretches of the 3rd.

So holding a 4-pt. lead, the energy for the 4th-Q was.. no different. We continued to turn it over. But the good thing is Boston continued to miss shot after shot, and I remember thinking "how in the world are we up by 13???". Our scoring was spotty, as Boston started to make the shots they got, and would be within 2 at 70-68. After a dominant Splitter drive to take a 77-70 lead, we would again go scoreless for almost 4 minutes. This is the 3rd serious scoring drought of this game, and this is alarming. Manu would finally sink the toughest shot of the season, but a few seconds later, Boston would take their first lead since 18-17 in the 1st-Q (81-79).

After a clutch Duncan jumper, Brandon Bass would again hit a shot to take a 2-pt lead. But Gary Neal nailed the three we were expecting to give us the 1-pt lead at 84-83. A sweet defensive stop later, Timmy would hit 1 of 2 FTs, and then after a second critical D-stop again, Matt Bonner nailed a 10-footer from the block on a crazy pass from Manu, and our lead was 87-83. After a timeout, one of the best shooters in the game, Ray Allen hit the three they needed (87-86), and with 16 seconds, Danny Green missed a three that would've clinched it.

Celtics had one last play, but Paul Pierce missed his fade-away jumper on the drawn-up play. And we got away with one: An 87-86 WIN with a terrible 2nd half that consisted of a measly 28 points. We had 5 guys in double figures, and killed them on the boards 53-39, but 17 TOs, and 7 of 28 from three is no good at all.. not to mention only 17 assists. TP and Manu both had bad games the same night, and we still won, so yeah.. we're lucky tonight. Here's the boxscore..

And that's 9-straight. OKC lost at Miami tonight, so we are now tied in the loss column. Sweet!

Here are the current NBA standings, courtesy of ESPN Dot Com.

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