The San Antonio Spurs took a 2-1 series lead over the Clippers on Friday night, blowing out Los Angeles 100-73 as the series shifted to the AT&T Center.
The Spurs, who barely escaped with a victory in game two, came out with a lot of energy early on, starting the game on an 11-2 run.
San Antonio, who never trailed, kept the foot on the gas throughout the entire game, even ballooning their lead to 37 at one point.
Now that the game is over, let’s take a look at our studs and duds of the game, along with key statistics from San Antonio Spurs playoffs game three.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard, who was recently awarded with the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year honors, showed that his game was far more than just defense, putting on an offensive clinic against the Clippers. The former first-round pick managed to burn Los Angeles for a career-high in points, scoring 32 on 13-of-18 shooting. Even though offensive ability was on heavy display, he did not let his defensive ability take a back-seat. Leonard continued to be active with his hands, coming away with three steals and two blocks.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers, individually and as a team, were atrocious on Friday. That being said, Blake Griffin probably had the best, worst outing of any Los Angeles player. The former Oklahoma Sooners star’s numbers don’t necessarily jump off the board, but, he did finish as the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, and passer which is good enough to earn him this title. Griffin registered 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in the loss. It’s not great but it is better than what the Clippers got out of most of their players.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker, continued to be hampered by injuries, had another poor outing in this first round series. The French point guard was once again ineffective in getting the offense rolling, sputtering to six points on 3-of-11 shooting. Parker also struggled to facilitate ball movement in his 26 minutes on the floor, coming away with only three assists and two turnovers. If the Spurs can win game four as well, Parker might get some much due rest, something that can hopefully rejuvenate the injured guard for another series.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul played like an MVP candidate through the Clippers first two games in this series. That was not the case in game three. Paul struggled mightily, coming away with only seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. He also looked like he forgot how to pass against NBA defense’s, committing six turnovers to his four assists. The former top-three selection could not defend either, picking up four personal fouls throughout the game.
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37: That’s the biggest lead San Antonio built in this game. The Spurs were absolutely amazing in their effort on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. After being dropped by 15 points in game one of this series, San Antonio has really turned things around and looks primed for a deep post-season run, even with an injured Tony Parker.
34.1: That’s the field goal percentage for the Clippers in this game. The Spurs did a marvelous job of contesting shots to make it difficult for Los Angeles to score. Only three Clippers players posted a higher field goal percentage then 50% and two of those players combined for only four shots. While Los Angeles will most likely not have two poor shooting games back-to-back, San Antonio needs to continue to apply pressure to make life tough for the Clippers.
0: That’s the number of free throws DeAndre Jordan attempted in this game. The Spurs did not send Jordan to the line once, and they did not need to, especially with their big lead. Although this game was not close, San Antonio should continue to not intentionally foul as outlined here in this piece about the detrimental effects of doing so.