The San Antonio Spurs just finished a tough week schedule wise (4 games in 6 nights), and emerged with an impressive 3-1 record following their game on Christmas Day.
The San Antonio Spurs week started on Tuesday in Houston, two days after the nostalgic and moving retirement of Tim Duncan’s number 21 jersey to the rafters of the AT&T Center. The Rockets were riding a 10 game winning streak heading into this game, and with four and a half minutes left in the game and leading by 13, it looked as though that streak would continue. WRONG!
The Spur are a resilient group and have overcome deficits even larger than this one on bigger stages. (see Spurs vs Warriors Game 1 2013 NBA playoffs, where the Spurs became the ONLY team to overcome a 16 point deficit with 4 minutes left to play and win the game)
The Spurs closed out this game going 4 for 4 from the 3 point line in addition to free throws by Leonard and a Gasol bucket. The Rockets and Mike D’Antoni ( whom the Spurs have gotten the best of countless times as the Sun’s coach) were left dumbfounded. The final score was Spurs 102 Rockets 100. Ginobili hit the first of those late 3 point baskets, Green hit 2 others and had the steal that eventually set up the game winner from Patty Mills.
Two nights later, the Spurs waltzed into L.A., and preceded to do what they normally do against the Clippers. Shoot poorly! The Spurs struggled to get to 40 percent after being in the 30th percentile range for much of the game.
The Clippers seem to have our number lately, and I think they are the only unfavorable match up the Spurs have in the NBA. Yes, the Warriors will be tough, but we can play with them, and even slap them silly on occasion. (see Game 1 of this season) The Clippers seem to bring out our worst performances over the last 3 seasons or so.
The following night, the Spurs faced a back to back in Portland against the Trailblazers. They found their shooting touch again, that disappears against the Clippers, and bombarded the Blazers 110-90 on 50 percent shooting from the field, and 60 percent shooting from the 3 point line. Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills were both on fire! Both of them went 5 of 7 from deep on their way to 33 and 23 points respectively.
LaMarcus Aldridge got in on the act against his old team with 18-14-6, and three steals for good measure.
The Spurs finished off the holiday week with a RARE Christmas game in San Antonio. They usually like to make the Spurs players go on the road for some reason on Christmas?
The Spurs came out swinging and behind a red hot Aldridge (Aldridge made his first 9 shots) who led the Spurs with 33 points. Leonard scored 25 points, and the Spurs pulled away with runs late in the 3rd quarter and runs to open up the 4th quarter.
After Aldridge and Leonard had paced the Spurs throughout the game, the Spurs took turns making their presence felt. Dewayne Dedmon went on a rampage late in the 3rd scoring the majority of his nine points, crashing the boards, and slamming in an alley-oop dunk to boot.
Next Green hit two straight 3 pointers early in the 4th quarter and then drove the lane and found David Lee for a dunk. Parker took his turn soon after scoring on a 3 point shot, a driving lay up and a short jumper for a total of 13 points and 8 assists for the game.
The Spurs shot a blistering 56.5 percent from the field for the game. The Spurs won 119-100.
The Spurs now have a 25-6 record, only one loss more than the Warriors. This week they will face the Suns on Wednesday and the Blazers on Friday, both games at home. After that they face the Hawks in Atlanta on New Year’s Day.
I’ll predict a 3-0 week, with a possible loss to the Hawks if the Spurs are a bit hungover from the successful start to this season. Merry Christmas, and Go Spurs Go!