San Antonio Spurs Playoffs: R1G5 Spurs Bench Fuels 3-2 Series Lead Over Los Angeles Clippers
The San Antonio Spurs took a 3-2 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night following a 11-107 road win.
The Spurs trailed by as many as 14 in the first quarter but were able to battle back, cutting the deficit to five at the end of the first and one at the break.
San Antonio kept pushing ahead at full steam in the second half, tying the game at the end of the third quarter and taking a seven point lead with 2:11 left in the fourth.
That’s when things began to get sticky for the Spurs, however. The Clippers refused to go away, trimming the lead to one point with 30 seconds left in the game following a pair of clutch free throws by Matt Barnes.
Things got even worse for San Antonio after Danny Green missed a three that would have put the Spurs up four with 6.9 seconds left. Los Angeles called timeout after the miss and set up a play which resulted in Blake Griffin driving to the rim for a layup. Unfortunately for the Clippers, Griffin’s shot bounced around the rim and DeAndre Jordan was hit with an offensive interference call giving the ball back to San Antonio.
Danny Green missed the back end of the two shots but Kawhi Leonard grabbed the offensive rebound. Leonard was sent to the line and knocked down the two free throws, securing the win for the Spurs.
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 five.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan played like the Spurs season was on the line in game five, coming away with a 21 point, 11 rebound double-double. He also made a contribution in the passing game, picking up four assists. Although the five-time champion’s offensive work was great on Tuesday night, his defensive work might have been even better. Duncan was all over the place on the defensive side of the ball, finishing with three steals and one block.
Los Angeles Clippers
Although Blake Griffin finished as the Clippers leading scorer and tied as the team’s leading rebounder, his five turnovers and 40% shooting make us give this award to another player. Chris Paul was Los Angeles’ most consistent player of the night, recording a 19 point, 10 assist double-double. The former Wake Forest star also did a great job boxing out for a point guard, pulling down five rebounds.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Tiago Splitter, although only playing nine minutes, might have had his worst showing of the series in game five. The Brazilian big man just could seem to be able to do anything right, finishing with only two points on 1-of-2 shooting and three fouls. Splitter, who started the game at center, also ended the game with the team’s lowest plus-minus at a minus-13.
Los Angeles Clippers
Jamal Crawford came up with a dud performance in game five of this series. The two-time sixth man of the year struggled to score the ball, shooting an abysmal 4-of-15 from the field. That 4-of-15 effort also included an 0-of-6 night from three-point range. If the Clippers are to save this series, Crawford will have to play a lot better than he did in game five.
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22: That’s the amount of points the Clippers had in the paint more than the Spurs. San Antonio was outscored in the paint 56-34. What is unbelievable is that the Spurs were able to overcome that deficit to win the game. Moving forward, San Antonio has to do a better job of controlling the paint and scoring more points down low themselves.
10: The Spurs finished a plus-10 from three-point range and I am not just talking points (technically impossible since you can’t score 10 points via three’s). San Antonio made 10 more three’s than the Clippers, meaning they got an additional 30 points from deep. That more than made up for their deficit in the paint. Still, the Spurs can not expect Los Angeles to continue to struggle from deep or shoot that well in future games.
31: That’s the amount of points San Antonio’s bench outscored Los Angeles’ bench by in game five. The Spurs reserves were fantastic with three bench players finishing in double-figures scoring while the Clippers bench was not so much, their best reserve Jamal Crawford was 4-of-15 from the field.