The San Antonio Spurs had just taken Game 1, and Manu Ginobili didn’t want to hear another word about winning 15 in a row or not losing in more than a month.
”I don’t even want to know about that,” Ginobili said.
On the other side of the AT&T Center, Clippers’ All-Star Chris Paul needed no reminder that his wretched performance contributed to the Spurs’ 108-92 victory over Los Angeles in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday night…
Tim Duncan had 26 points and 10 rebounds following an eight-day layoff for the top-seeded Spurs, who wore down Los Angeles in what was the sixth game in 11 day for the Clippers. Game 2 on Thursday night will make it seven in fewer than two weeks…
The Spurs have won 15 in a row, haven’t lost since April 11 and are winning by an average margin of nearly 17 points during that span. It’s the longest winning streak in the NBA playoffs since the 2004 Spurs carried 17 straight wins into the second round that season…
Blake Griffin scored 15 points in 28 minutes a day after estimating his sprained left knee had him feeling ”80 percent” at best. The All-Star said he became tired quicker than usual, and also turned his left ankle early in the game…
Paul, who ended the first round with an aching hip, scored just six points and didn’t make a single basket in the second half. Parker was barely any better, putting together seven points and 11 assists, and didn’t talk to reporters after the game…
– Reported by Paul J. Weber of the Associated Press
One sign the Spurs had their legs: They made 13 of 25 on 3-pointers, tying a franchise playoff record, including three apiece from Kawhi Leonard (16 points), Danny Green (15) and Ginobili.
During the break between the end of the first round and start of the second, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich fretted the extended time off might discombobulate the rhythm his team had gained in the first round.
He paced his team through every-other-day practices, including full-squad scrimmages, trying to keep his players sharp.
“You’ve got to do whatever you think is necessary to try to keep your rhythm, keep your conditioning and not get anybody hurt,” Popovich said.
After some early struggles — such as nine first-half turnovers — the Spurs rounded into form. Up by eight at intermission, the Spurs put together a 26-11 run in the third quarter to build a lead that got as large as 19 points.
– Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News
Thing is, the Spurs just keep coming after you in waves while pulling player after player out of their deep pool of reserves. Each one of them is effective and makes and not impact in their own right, with some as good or better than the starter they are replacing.
When someone is struggling, as Parker did while scoring just seven points on 1-of-9 shooting, Ginobili can pick up the slack with 22 points and Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green can combine to hit six 3-pointers and score 31 points.
“Everyone else got it going, and they’ve done that before,” Paul said. “And Tony is such a great player he’s still going to get everyone involved.”
When Popovich eventually found the right mix of personnel, the Spurs dropped a 26-15 hammer on the Clippers to build a 19-point third-quarter lead.
Meanwhile, the Clippers were left to look around wondering what the heck just happened.
“We were scrambling around a little bit at that point,” Griffin said. “And you just can’t do that against a good team like the Spurs.”
– Reported by Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News