The Spurs got their 52nd win of the season on Wednesday night, beating the Golden State Warriors 104-93.
Tim Duncan continued his hot streak on Wednesday. He scored 25 points on 11-17 shooting; and racked up 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks. This is Duncan’s third straight game scoring 25 points or more, showing that he can be the go-to-guy for a Tony Parker-less Spurs team.
Tiago Splitter had 17 for the Spurs, on 6-13 shooting. Splitter also had 7 rebounds an 4 assists on the night. Manu Ginobili continued to struggle shooting wise, scoring 16 points on 5-16 shooting, but he continued to look good as a distributor, racking up 7 assists.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry had 24 points on 8-20 shooting, including 4-8 from three. The rest of the scoring was very balanced for the Warriors, as 4 other players scored in double digits. Jarrett Jack, who went for 30 the last time these two teams matched up, had 14 points on 11 shots, and led the Warriors in assists with 7.
The Spurs got out to a sizeable lead at the half, after outscoring the Warriors 38-25 in the second quarter, largely due to bench scoring, and hitting three pointers (6-11 from 3 in the quarter).
That lead would last until late in the fourth quarter, where it was cut to 4 with about three and a half minutes remaining in the game, and San Antonio had gone cold. When that happened, the Spurs began to run their offense through Duncan, who scored 6 straight points to increase the lead, and then assisted on a Manu Ginobili three to put the game out of reach.
The next game for the Spurs is Friday, March 22, against the Utah Jazz at 8:30PM ET.
(I just want to do a couple of notes tonight. For various reasons, I wasn’t able to watch much of the game. Right before the tip-off, my computer had to do an update and I ended up missing the whole first quarter. And I stopped watching for a bit of the third quarter because I was tuned into the Miami-Cleveland game and watching LeBron go into God-mode. So I’m sorry if the notes are few and far between tonight.)
- Tim Duncan can sill be the offensive catalyst for as long as Parker’s out. For the past three games, all of which have been wins, the Spurs have had to go through Duncan to succeed. They can’t run the same high-powered attack as before, but it’s still good enough to get by with on a temporary basis. Duncan has shown he can still be “the guy” on a team, if only for a short while. In the past three games he’s gotten at least 25 points and 12 rebounds. Putting him on the block and letting him work, as San Antonio did tonight in crunch time, is how they’ll have to continue on for now. Ginobili has shown he’s at best a second option without Parker, and he doesn’t have the same shooting stroke as before. So, for now, the Spurs will continue to have to grind games out. Hopefully Parker can be back soon, because this last stretch without him just highlights what he means to this team. He, before anything else, is what the Spurs need to be a legitimate threat moving forward.
- As I said in the previous bullet, Manu Ginobili isn’t the same scorer that he’s always been. All his stats are in line with what he’s done all career long, but he doesn’t have the same effect he’s always had, and that’s come to light even more so recently. Aaron McGuire of Gothic Ginobili goes into more detail here, but Ginobili is getting a bit more careless with his shot selection, and picking his spots a lot worse. Over the previous 10 games, Ginobili is shooting .396 from the field, which is a terrible rate, and other players have had to step up in his decline. One encouraging part of his game though, has been his distributing. In Parker’s absence, he has taken on the role of lead-playmaker and played well. He’s still good in pick-and-roll, and is creative as ever with getting his teammates open. This is the kind of player he is now, and we have to take it and adjust. He’s not going to be a late game scorer (I was amazed his game-clinching 3 went in tonight, maybe he was just due.) anymore, but once Tony Parker comes back that’s not a big deal. It’s harder to space the floor with him now, because teams are helping off of him more and leaving him open for three, which he isn’t making much of. Other teams don’t see him as a threat off the ball, but he’s still more than useful when setting up his teammates.