Thank god there are two halves to a basketball game. The first half of tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls in the AT&T Center was, well….ugly. Turnovers were the talk of the first half for the Spurs. Their passes were not crisp and at times they seemed to be forcing things to happen rather than take their time as they have done all year. Bulls took advantage of the turnovers turning them into points. The game went back and forth through-out the first half. Spurs were down at the half, 52 to 47.
Start of the second half the Spurs came out as a different team. It was apparent what Gregg Popovich talked about at the half and that was the three point shooting of the Bulls in the first half. In the second, San Antonio were up on the shooters when the ball reached them not giving them enough room to put up a shot. Defense was huge in the second half along with the play of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. We will get back to defense in a few but right now, the two that was mention, Duncan and Ginobili played great tonight. Duncan even had time to run in the stands for a little more cardio.
Ginobili finished the game with 18 points and 9 assists. He continued his play of facilitator as he was looking to get his team involved. I talked about the bench being the key for us and they came out and proved it, behind Ginobili. Patty Mills had 13, Stephen Jackson added 7 and Boris Diaw 5. Duncan notched another double-double as he went for 18 and 10. During this game he had 5 blocks as he looked energized for this game.
The adjustments that the Spurs made during halftime on the defensive end proved its worth. Chicago scored 52 points in the first half, second 31. Spurs defenders forced the Bulls to take more contested shots on the outside. Marco Belinelli led the Bulls with 21 points and 7 assists. Kawai Leonard had himself a very entertaining game throwing down some one-handers and playing some excellent defense on Luol Deng. Leonard finished with 14 on the night.
San Antonio won their 48th game of the season behind 54% shooting from the floor.