San Antonio Spurs: Keys to defeating the Los Angeles Clippers
The San Antonio Spurs will look to win their sixth consecutive game in a row and improve their road record to 15-1 when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday.
The San Antonio Spurs are coming off of a thrilling 102-100 win against the Houston Rockets Tuesday.
The Spurs back down by 13 in the final quarter dug down and found a way to pull it together in a game that had a playoff feel to it.
Both teams struggled to take care of the ball. San Antonio with 19, left the door open for Houston, who at the time, was looking for their eleventh consecutive win.
The perseverance and veteran savvy Spurs team would claw their way back with runs of their own. Captivated by the long ball, San Antonio saved their best run for last.
San Antonio knocked down eight 3-pointers in the final quarter at ended on a 15-2 run, stopping Houston’s win streak at 10 and extended their own two five.
The Spurs enter Staples Center sporting a 23-5 record, and have won five straight. The Clippers enter with a 21-8 record and are coming off of a 119-102 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
This will be the second meeting between these two teams. In the first, it was all Clippers as they came into the AT&T Center and smacked the Spurs right in the face.
The Clippers came out aggressive in the first quarter and the Spurs defense was flat. Los Angeles could not miss as they finished the first quarter with a 15 point lead, 39-24. The onslaught did not end there.
In the second the Clippers kept their foot on the gas behind Blake Griffin and company. At the end of the first half, the Clippers had scored 73 points on the Spurs. A team in which prides themselves on defense.
Blake Griffin was a man amongst boys in his teams 116-92 thrashing. He finished with 28 points on 13 of 19 shooting from the floor.
The Clippers dominated in the paint as the Spurs had no answers. They also shot 51 percent from the floor while the Spurs 40 percent.
But times have changed and since that loss to the Clippers, the Spurs have found their stride on the offensive end.
The question is: what must the San Antonio Spurs do in order to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center?
Keys To Victory
- 1st quarter start – Spurs need to come out aggressive. Run the offense, get the ball moving. Don’t look for the one-on-one plays.
- Ball control – This is important against a team like the Clippers. They feast on mistakes and look to run off of turnovers. Spurs had 19 turnovers in their game against Houston. In their first meeting on November 5th against the Clippers, they had 15.
- Get Kawhi an advantage – Leonard is coming off of a game where he had a season high seven turnovers. He also had one of his worst shooting games against the Clippers in their first meeting. He had just 14 points on 3 of 13 shooting. Getting Kawhi an advantage whether it is on the block or against a smaller defender will get him going and establishing his game.
- No Blake Griffin – Griffin will be out of action for up to six weeks as he undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his knee but that does not mean it is time to let up. Yes Griffin torche the Spurs in their first meeting but the Clippers are talented and still have Chris Paul.
- Contain Chris Paul – Easier said that done. Paul is coming off of a performance where he was just two rebounds shy of a triple double against the Nuggets. He is an excellent passer and can put up points when he is left open.
- Shoot with confidence – This is what the Spurs did in the fourth quarter against the Rockets and they made them pay. San Antonio is a team of runs. When Patty Mills, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili are feeling good from behind the 3-point line, this team can be hard to beat.
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The Spurs and Clippers game is building up to be another good one for the fans. This game also will be televised nationally on TNT. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 PM Central time.