Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs (53-16) at Houston Rockets (38-31)
Dec 28, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) shoots against Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) during the second half at the AT
The San Antonio Spurs are looking for a clean sweep against another rival in the Houston Rockets. Over the last four games, these two have been involved in some high scoring affairs with the last game on December 28th, the Spurs 122 and the Rockets 116.
In that game Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and San Antonio snapped the Rockets’ five-game winning streak.
Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 points for San Antonio.
Harden scored 33 points, Chandler Parsons added 24, and Jeremy Lin had 21 for Houston.
While the Spurs’ “Big Three” were able to match the Rockets’ production, it was the team’s defense that was key.
After allowing Houston to shoot 55 percent through three quarters, the Spurs clamped down in the fourth. San Antonio had seven steals in the period, and Houston shot 10 for 23 from the field.
San Antonio (53-17) is coming off of their fourth straight win against the Utah Jazz, in what we feel was the ugliest game of the year for San Antonio.
Tony Parker returned from his eight-game absence from an injury, scoring 22 points points to lead San Antonio to an 104-97 overtime victory against Utah. The win marked number 900 for Coach Gregg Popovich.
In overtime, the spurs shot 5-of-8 in overtime hitting both of their three-pointers as well as both free throws.
The Houston Rockets are coming off of a 116 to 78 victory over the hopeless Cleveland Cavaliers. James Harden scored 20 points on nine shot attempts, and Omer Asik recorded his 29th double-double of the season (13 points, 11 rebounds) for the Rockets (38-31), who have won 10 of their last 12 home games and six consecutive meetings with the Cavaliers in Houston. Rookie Thomas Robinson finished with a career-high 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks off the bench.
With that said, here are the match-ups and who I see having the edge.
Point GuardTony Parker vs Jeremy Lin
Tony Parker in his first game back looked to me as if he had not lost a step. The ankle injury did sideline the MVP candidate for eight games but in his return he showed how valuable he is to the team. Controlling the game and scoring when needed, Parker is a true Floor General. “Linsanity” or the lack there of, is coming off of a monster 4 point game against Cleveland. I have caught Rockets games not only against us but other teams and he surely does not have that same “swag” that he had when he was in New York.
EDGE: Tony Parker
Shooting GuardDanny Green vs James Harden
What can I say, Harden and his beard can ball. He is a true scorer and a good defender. DG will have his hands full.
EDGE: James Harden
Small ForwardKawhi Leonard vs Chandler Parsons
Kawhi is coming off of a 21 point outburst against the Utah Jazz. He hit some big shots, one of which was to give the Spurs the lead but then was wiped away by Marvin Williams three to put the game into overtime. Leonard is very athletic and continues to do a great job rebounding. Don’t let Parsons fool you. He is a good player that likes to be aggressive and too, likes to take the ball to the rim. Though he had just 13 points against Cleveland, you can’t let him out of your sight.
EDGE: Kawhi Leonard
Power ForwardTim Duncan vs Donatus Motiejunas
Future Hall Of Famer. Enough said!
EDGE: Tim Duncan
CenterTiago Splitter vs Omer Asik
Splitter will continue his very productive play and finish with a double-double. Asik also had 13 in their win against Cleveland and tends to get most of his points on the block. He will possibly have to deal with not only Splitter but Duncan as well.
To much fire power on the Spurs side. The main players off the bench will be Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, and Boris Diaw. I look for Jackson to have a better offensive output then the goose egg he put up against Utah. Carlos Delfino and Greg Smith are the main players for the Rockets.
EDGE: San Antonio Spurs
Game InformationWhen: March 24, 2013Where: Toyota Center, HoustonTip: 6:00 PM (Spurs Time)Television: FSSWRadio: 1200 WOAI (Local)
Perspective on the Houston Rockets can be found here at Space City Scoop.