Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs (54-17) vs Los Angeles Clippers (49-23)
Feb 21, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Spurs won 116-90. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Another night in the AT&T Center will feel as if the playoffs have begun as the Los Angeles Clippers (49-23) come to town looking for their 50th win of the season as well as completing the season series against the Spurs.
The Clippers won the first two meetings against the Spurs back in November, 106 to 84 in Los Angeles and just a few days after 92 to 87 in San Antonio. Those two games the Clippers look like the team that many people considered as a favorite to win the Championship. The third match-up between these two, look like the Clippers of old as they were dismantled by the Spurs in Los Angeles, 116 to 90.
There are many first that can happen with the Los Angeles Clippers with this win. One, they can do what they have never come to and that is to win three straight-games in San Antonio. The other, reaching the 50 win plateau. For San Antonio this is rather routine, but uncharted territory for the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio reaching their 50th win of the season marks their 14th straight, and has also assured themselves a spot in the playoffs along with Los Angeles.
With ten games left in the season, the Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on their first division title, leading the pacific by 8 1/2 games.
Feb 21, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (4) dunks over Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe (12) in the first half of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs, who lead the conference by 1 1/2 games over Oklahoma City, have won 27 of 29 at home since that defeat. They extended their winning streak at the AT&T Center to six games by defeating Denver 100-99 on Wednesday, beginning a three-game homestand that ends Sunday against Miami.
San Antonio has won three of four to begin this season-ending 15-game stretch that includes 11 meetings with teams currently in playoff position.
The current stretch that San Antonio is on has many feeling that it is the perfect opportunity for them to showcase what they have. Los Angeles Clippers tonight and the Miami Heat on Sunday which closes out their three game home stand. It is apparent to Gregg Popovich that this stretch is something they can build upon, as he told NBA.Com.
“The schedule that we have is something that should be embraced and considered a great opportunity,” coach Gregg Popovich said, “because it’s like taking a final exam every day or most days. To get ready for the playoffs, understanding the physicality, aggressiveness and competitiveness that’s necessary night after night in the playoffs.”
All three that Popovich stated about, physicality, aggressiveness and competitiveness were all their in their game against the Denver Nuggets. It doesn’t get any easier. Spurs fans around the globe will be concerned on how healthy Tony Parker is. Parker sustained a sprained finger in the teams win against the Denver Nuggets this past Wednesday. He finished with 18 points and 11 assists. He stated that he will not miss any games, which is a good sign, but how healthy he is will surely be watched closely.
Point GuardsTony Parker – Chris PaulShooting GuardsDanny Green – Chauncey BillupsSmall ForwardsKawai Leonard – Caron ButlerPower ForwardsTim Duncan – Blake GriffinCentersTiago Splitter – DeAndre Jordan
GAME INFORMATIONWhen: Friday, March 29th at 7:30 PM (Spurs Time)Where: AT&T CenterTelevision: FSSW Radio: 1200 WOAI (Local)
Los Angeles Clippers perspective can be found by heading over to Fully Clips.