May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers small forward Caron Butler (5) defends against San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) during the first half of game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

Game 3 Grades: Spurs 96, Clippers 86

May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) watches as Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) takes the ball down court in the second half of game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center. San Antonio Spurs won 96-86. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Bonner, PF 9:42 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -10

Bonner has been pretty nonexistent this series. He’s averaging 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds while shooting 20% from behind the arc in 10.3 minutes per game. Grade: C-

Boris Diaw, PF 29:00 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +17

Griffin’s post domination in the first quarter aside, Diaw’s girth still made it pretty difficult for him to score with ease. Grade: B-

Tim Duncan, C 32:46 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 4 AST | 19 PTS | +20

Timmeh has been the Spurs’ MVP this series. Grade: A

Manu Ginobili, SG 29:47 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -3

Very balanced Manu-like night. Nothing more, nothing less. Grade: B

Danny Green, G 16:32 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +24

Picked up two early fouls, filled in the gaps capably as the game progressed as his +24 suggests. Grade: B

Stephen Jackson, SG 8:23 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4

Jack’s 8:23 of playing time was his lowest total since he joined the Spurs. He also added three turnovers including one that directly led to a Mo Williams 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter. Grade: D

Kawhi Leonard, SF 37:10 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +4

Kawhi was instrumental in the Spurs’ 24-0 run. Absolutely perfect game for the 20-year-old rookie. Grade: A+

Gary Neal, PG 20:58 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -9

Received more minutes because Green and Jackson saw a reduction in minutes. Did, you know, some more Neal stuff. Grade: C+

Tony Parker, PG 36:16 MIN | 8-20 FG | 6-9 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 23 PTS | +25

Almost an identical performance from Game 2. Except his 10 assists are pretty nice, too. Grade: A

Tiago Splitter, C 13:54 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -13

Tiago was victimized on a couple of Griffin post-ups even though his post defense was fundamentally sound. Sometimes guys just make shots and sometimes refs just choose to forgo calling any errant elbows down low (yes this is a subtle shot at the referees). Grade: B-

Conclusion. Hopefully tonight’s game leads to a victory tomorrow and, hopefully, less dramatics. They didn’t come out as focused as Gregg Popovich would prefer and they shouldn’t expect to continue to pull out of 24-point deficits consistently.

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