The San Antonio Spurs (5-1) will have a test on their hands Saturday night as Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (4-1) invade the AT&T Center.
Both teams are coming off of road victories Friday night. The Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-88 behind Paul’s double-double (27 points, 11 assists).
The Spurs avenged their lone loss of the season against the Utah Jazz defeating them 100-86 behind Kawhi Leonard’s 29 point outburst.
Patty Mills started for Tony Parker whom was back in San Antonio nursing a sore knee. In 29 minutes, Mills finished with 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting. He also had three rebounds and as many assists in the win.
He will likely get the start as Parker is said to be sidelined for one week.
Both teams have two of the NBA’s most explosive offensive players in Leonard and Paul. With that said, the deciding factor when these two meet will be defense.
For the Spurs, their only loss of the season came to the hands of the Jazz and being that it was at the AT&T Center, will make it tougher for them to defend.
The Clippers nearly came in being the only undefeated team in the Western Conference. Either way, this matchup is huge for these two teams, early in the season.
In the Clippers four wins this season, they have come at a 12.5-point margin.
They have struggled over their last two games in the Alamo City losing both.
LaMarcus Aldridge in three games against the Clippers last season averaged 17.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while Leonard, 19 points and seven rebounds in two games.
Coming into the game the Clippers are shooting 41.5 percent from the floor (tied for 28th) and just 28.9 percent from 3-point range.
The Spurs have been holding opponents to 94 a game this season while offensively, 104.3. But, at home, San Antonio has struggled to reach the century mark, averaging 94.5.
Needless to say, this game may not be an offensive juggernaut as we would think. Here are some of the keys to victory for both teams heading into their matchup Saturday night.
San Antonio Spurs:
- Stretch the floor against the Clippers bigs.
- Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee continue to produce.
- Take care of the ball.
- Keep offense flowing.
- Contain pick-and-roll with Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
Los Angeles Clippers:
- Get Paul going early.
- Bench needs to provide spark.
- Stop Kawhi.