Feb 21, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom (7) and shooting guard Jamal Crawford (11) guard San Antonio Spurs small forward Stephen Jackson (3) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Spurs won 116-90. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
A statement was made Thursday night. In front of a national audience, San Antonio put all their talents on display and blasted the Los Angeles Clippers.
Even with the best record in the league, San Antonio was pegged as an “underdog” in this match-up. However, the Spurs left no doubt as they cruised past the Clippers, 116-90.
The Big Three was present, but the Spurs are truly becoming The Tony Parker Show. Parker poured in 31 points off 12-16 shooting, totaled seven assists, and picked up a steal in the victory.
Danny Green and Tiago Splitter reached double figures as starters Thursday night, but Manu Ginobili did score ten off the bench.
Parker kept his All-NBA First Team hopes, and definitely helped his case by doing it against Chris Paul, who appears to be his only true competition. Though, Parker will get one more chance to one-up Paul before the season ends.
However, let’s not give all the credit to Parker. This was an exceptional team effort.
As mentioned, Danny Green got in to double figures with 15 points. Green once again made a living from the perimeter, hitting 3-of-6. Though, Danny did match Parker’s seven assists as well.
Kawhi Leonard was held out due to soreness in his left knee and Tim Duncan did not see much of the floor Thursday, but a front court led by Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw was more than serviceable. What fans are seeing is a completely different Splitter who was not intimidated by Blake Griffin one bit. Tiago has come a long way since San Antonio signed him, and Splitter had to feel good making a statement on national televison.
OFf the bench, Diaw looked so fluent with this Spurs offense. Yes, he has a history with Tony Parker, but Diaw was making some great passes, though, who wasn’t for San Antonio?
The ball movement was superb against a Clippers team that could not get in any rhythm. The Spurs played at their tempo, and continually found the open man. San Antonio shot 58.9% from the floor, and hit 8-of-17 from beyond the arc.
San Antonio’s defense was, also, something to marvel. The Spurs completely shut down Chris Paul, who scored a mere four points and had only three assists.
Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford did most of the scoring for Los Angeles off the bench, but this could have been a lot more lopside had the Clippers not been given so many free throw opportunities.
The Spurs really stepped up to the challenge Thursday. They improved to 44-12 with the win and will look to extend their win streak tonight against the Golden State Warriors. San Antonio visits Oracle Arena at 9:30 pm CST tonight, which will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Editor’s Note: From the Air Alamo staff, our prayers go out to Stephen Jackson and his family. Jackson’s wife lost their child she had been carrying for six-and-a-half months. Our condolences go out to the Jackson’s, and we hope they can stay strong in this tough, emotional time.