San Antonio Spurs Hammered in Series Opener Against Los Angeles Clippers
By Jay Desai
The San Antonio Spurs opened the playoffs on the wrong side of the scoreboard on Sunday night, falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 107-92 in game of this first round series.
The Spurs, who trailed by as many as 20, dug themselves into an early hole in the first quarter, finding themselves down 30-18 at the end of one.
Although San Antonio struggled from the tip, the Spurs were able to use their experience and talent to get back in the game, tying the score in the second quarter and trailing by only six points at the break.
Los Angeles reclaimed control in the second half, however, outscoring San Antonio 58-49 over the final two quarters on their to victory.
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
In a game of disappointment, Kawhi Leonard tried to bring some positive to the Spurs. The 2014 Finals MVP finished as one of only three San Antonio players to shoot over 50% from the field, going 7-of-12. Leonard contributed 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, and four steals in the loss.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul was in MVP form once again for the Clippers, lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of a game-high 32 points. It wasn’t just his scoring though where the point guard helped his team. Paul’s all-around game was great as he filled the box score with seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. His individual defense was also excellent, helping to contain Tony Parker to a 4-of-11 shooting night.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green put together a very disappointing night against the Clippers, basically being a non-factor in the game. The 6-foot-6 two-guard could not get anything going offensively, connecting on just 2-of-12 field goals for six points. His three-point efficiency was even worse, just 1-of-7 from deep. Green also failed to contribute elsewhere, recording just two assists and three rebounds to round out his final line in 22 minutes.
Los Angeles Clippers
Not much went wrong for Los Angeles on Sunday but if you had to look at areas where the team could have improved, look at Austin Rivers. The coach’s son was the only Clippers player to finish the game with a negative plus-minus despite playing more than 10 minutes. The former lottery pick ended the game with two points on 1-of-3 shooting.
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36.6: That’s the Spurs field goal percentage in this game. San Antonio simply could not put the ball in the hoop whether it was from the field, 36.6%, from deep, 30.3%, or from the line, 53.8%. When you face a team as good as the Clippers, it’s going to be tough to get a win regardless of how you play. It makes it even tougher to win when you can’t put the ball in the hoop.
24: That’s the number of made Clippers field goals that were not assisted on. What that says is there was a lot of one-on-one work from Los Angeles, trying to dominate individual match-ups. That might work in a single game but over the course of a series, that is usually not a recipe for success. That’s good news for the Spurs. No series is won in one game and at the end of the day, if San Antonio can take game two, they will have done their job in Los Angeles.
11: That’s the number of offensive rebounds more that the Spurs had than the Clippers. This statistic is a little troubling because San Antonio could not make the most of their second chance attempts. Had the Spurs put in a few more shots than they did, this final score could be looking a lot different than it does now.