San Antonio Spurs Playoffs: R1G4 Late Game Comeback Falls Short Against Los Angeles Clippers
By Jay Desai
The Spurs and Clippers will go into game five tied at two games apiece following a 114-105 win by Los Angeles in game four.
The Clippers came out determined to tie the series and avoid going down 3-1 in the series, holding a four point advantage at the half which they continued to grow over the final 24 minutes.
San Antonio tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to as little as five. Los Angeles, however, responded nicely to the Spurs comeback efforts by going on a 13-4 run after San Antonio made it 93-88.
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 four.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard put together another MVP type performance in game four, scoring a team high 26 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. The former San Diego State star also defended match-up Matt Barnes well, forcing the Clippers starting forward to struggle to a 2-of-8 shooting night. Leonard was instrumental in San Antonio’s comeback as well, hitting two consecutive three’s to cut the lead to eight with just a little under 2:30 to play in the game.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul recovered well from his lousy game three performance in game four, recording a game-high 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting. The former lottery pick was all over the court, adding seven assists, three rebounds, a steal, and a block. Paul also made an effort to get to the line, going to the charity stripe 10 times and converting all of those attempts. It was a nice turnaround for the Clippers star point guard and it might have just been enough to save his team’s season, at least for now.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green had his worst game of this series on Sunday night, failing to register a single point. Green went 0-of-6 from the floor in this one with all six attempts coming from three-point range. The former Tar Heel also failed to produce elsewhere on the court, picking up just two rebounds and two assists in his 28 minutes of floor time. Green’s defense was poor as well, losing Los Angeles guard J.J. Redick at times, who had 17 points.
Los Angeles Clippers
Matt Barnes was a non-factor for a second straight game, finishing with just four points, 2-of-8 shooting, two rebounds, and two assists. The 11-year veteran had all sorts of problems trying to put the ball in the hoop, even having three of his attempts blocked. Barnes could also not hold his own against Kawhi Leonard who scored 26 points. All of this had Doc Rivers pulling Barnes, who only played 23 minutes, many times.
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24: That’s the percentage the Spurs shot from deep in this game. San Antonio just could not get anything going from behind the arc, sputtering to a 6-of-25 performance from deep. The Spurs were one of the better three-point shooting teams in the regular season, ranking in the top-5, and their ability to hit the long-ball is one of their best weapons. When the deep ball is not falling for the Spurs, it makes it difficult for this team to win, especially against one of the West’s more elite teams.
3: That’s the number of steals San Antonio had in this game. The Spurs had pretty active hands in the regular season, coming away with eight steals on average per game. For a team that is known for its stout defense, three steals is unacceptable. Hitting their regular season average would have given San Antonio five extra possessions. That might not have been enough to flip the final score but it sure would help their case of doing so.
2: That’s the number of minutes the Spurs had in between buckets after cutting the deficit to five at 93-88. In playoff basketball, it is so important to maintain momentum and consistency late. Two minutes is not that long of a stretch but it was enough for Los Angeles to open the lead back up to nine points. San Antonio went 0-of-1 from the field, 0-of-2 from the line, and committed one turnover during that stretch.