The San Antonio Spurs kicked off their home-and-home series with the Houston Rockets on a strong note, taking game one of the quick two game series 110-98 at home.
Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first quarter combing for a total of 65 points. The Spurs clamped down defensively over the next two quarters, however, limiting the Rockets to just 38 points over those next 24 minutes.
Trailing by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, Houston tried to ignite their offense, scoring 27 in the period, but was unable to give the same type of effort on the defensive side of the ball, ultimately resulting in a loss for the Rockets.
Now that the game is over, let’s take a look at our studs and duds of the game, along with key statistics.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
After a four-game string of single-digit scoring games for Tony Parker, the French point guard showed a lot of life against the Rockets, coming away with a game high 27 points on 13-of-18 shooting. Parker also got the offense rolling with a little bit of ball movement, passing for four assists. His defense was solid as well, limiting the Rockets point guards to 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
Dwight Howard, although only on the floor for 22 minutes, was a big reason the final margin was not larger than what it was. Howard finished with a starter high plus-4, doing so by collecting 16 points and 11 rebounds. The three-time defensive player of the year was especially impressive in his efficiency from the floor, shooting 7-of-10.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green continues to have a roller-coaster end to the season after a nice stretch in late March, this time being on the bottom of the hill with a 3-of-10 shooting night. Green might have added a block and two rebounds to help make up for his struggles scoring wise, but, the fact of the matter is the Spurs need a lot more from the five-year veteran. He also could not slow down James Harden, 22 points.
Terrence Jones has been having an excellent season so far, but unfortunately for the Rockets, seemed to disappear for a third straight game. Jones could not get anything going either offensively or defensively, finishing with just two on 1-of-3 shooting in 17 minutes. Had the former first-round pick played like NBA fans are used to seeing, this game could have been a lot more interesting than it was.
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5: That’s the difference between the number of points the Rockets scored in the first quarter and their combined point total from the second and third quarter. San Antonio’s defense stifling over the middle two quarters, leading to a lot of problems for Houston. When the Spurs turn it on defensively like they did over those middle two quarters, they become a very tough team to beat.
9: That’s the number of turnovers San Antonio committed in this game. The Spurs were very lucky that their ball control was stellar in this game because the Rockets made more three’s, more free throw’s, and had more assists than San Antonio. Winning the turnover battle helped make up big time for some of those deficiencies.
8: That’s the difference in rebounding, favoring the Spurs in this game. As with turnovers, rebounding also helped San Antonio overcome some of their deficiencies in passing and shooting from long range. This is a good sign for the Spurs moving forward as they need to be able to make up their deficiencies in other categories when they are not doing as well in those.