Spurs cut Clippers’ 24-point lead to 10

By Quixem Ramirez

May 17, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) gets fouled while shooting against San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter (22) during the first half in game two of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the AT

The Los Angeles Clippers hold a 10-point lead over the San Antonio Spurs at halftime. The teams swapped leads for the first four minutes of the first quarter until the Clippers’ 14-0 run changed the complexion of the game that left the Spurs reeling.

Blake Griffin scored 14 points in the first quarter, alone. Whether it was Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw or Tiago Splitter defending him down low, Griffin used his athleticism (and he benefited from a few generous no-calls) to his advantage.

It also didn’t bode well for the Spurs prognosis when Stephen Jackson made an ill-advised pass at the end of the first quarter that led to a Mo Williams 3-pointer that gave the Clippers even more confidence. Along with that turnover, the Spurs turned it over nine times and didn’t seem to bring their requisite focus and ball movement. The offense seemed to be, for the most part, more reliant on isolations.

Considering the Clippers held a 24-point lead at one point during the second quarter, the Spurs head to the locker room with, at the very least, a semblance of continuity and hope. The Spurs finished the half on a 17-7 note and three of their last five field goals were assisted, indicating that the Spurs ball movement was improving. They finished with 11 assists and 43.2 percent shooting. The Clippers, however, shot 57.5 percent from the field. Griffin scored 20 points and added seven rebounds.