God, will this be an asswhupping. Only reason to tune in will to see a EJ vs Manu matchup, along with Camby crashing the boards. Fred Jones better be ready, I don't know if I can handle 40 minutes of Mardy Collins again. Novak should get some time, mainly if Bonner is on the court. Let's Go Clippers, Let's Go!
Clippers with the early lead, 14-12 with 5:46 remaining in the opening quarter. Eric Gordon continues to get no love from the officials, constantly gets bumped. Mardy Collins is off to a great start, 6 points/3 boards/1 steal and Thornton has 6 early ones. Skinner had 3 boards and a block before he hit the pine for Fred Jones.
For the Spurs, Mason and Parker are owning us, as they have all 12 San Antonio points.
Clippers now lead 20-16 with 2:30 left in the opening 12. Al Thornton is playing with nice energy, got a block on Duncan and then went high up twice to secure a rebound. Fred Jones had a beautiful drive for a lay-in. We need to stop playing a zone defense, the Spurs are murdering us with the backdoors and now, with Hart, Collins will go back to stinking it up unless Mardy is used as the primary ball handler.
Clippers once more extend the lead by 2, to lead 22-16 at the end of the first period. Considering we don't have 3 of our 5 key players, this is one hell of a showing by this squad, and I, for one, enjoy watching this team without Baron more as opposed to with him due to the difference in intensity and energy.
Camby has 5 boards already and Mardy Collins is beasting with 8 points, 4 boards, a block and steal on 4-6 shooting. Clippers are giving a block party thus far as well with 4 team blocks(Mardy, Fred, Camby, Skinner). EJ has 2 fouls, hope he gets back in and stays in, while Parker already has a whopping 9 points.
Clippers extend the lead to 7, leading 30-23 with 8:32 remaining in the half. Spurs are chucking treys left and right(3-10), but the Clippers aren't giving up any long rebounds and hit both of their trey attempts. Thornton is having his once a week games as he has 11 points on 5-7 shooting. This season might be all but over, but I want a W!
Clippers 9 point lead has been cut down to 4, 37-33 with 4:44 remaining in the half. Roger Mason is murdering us with 3 knock downs from behind the arc, Spurs as a team are 5-14, while we are 3-5. Offensive rebounds are the reason we have the lead, and Thornton continues his good play as he is up to 13 points now, but has 3 turnovers.
Lead remains at 4, 41-37 with 2:29 remaining in the half. EJ is shooting two when the game goes back on, but Mardy Collins is a damn good point guard, sucks at every other position though. He now has 2 blocked shots. Al added another turnover and Camby is silky smooth.
We can win this game if we cut down on turnovers and close out on shooters, while keeping doing what we are(not giving up 2nd chance points, scoring at the rate we are).
Clippers lead 44-43 at the end of the first half. No Baron, no Chris, no Mike, no Zach, and this squad is playing with some great energy and intensity. Something we don't see with Baron running the show. Heres a quick breakdown of the box score:
Mardy Collins has 10/5 with 2 blocks and a takeaway on 5-7 shooting. Camby is en route to another 12+ rebound game as he already has 6/6. Fred Jones has 5/2/2 and Eric Gordon is struggling from the field(3-9) but has 8 points, despite getting no love from the officiating crew like always. Thornton has a solid 13 points, but has 4 turnovers.
For the Spurs, Parker is beasting with 13 points, Mason is chipping in 11 with 3 treys, Ginobili has 7/3 with 4 steals off the bench.
Q's Keys to Victory:
Cut down on turnovers. We already have 10 turnovers, and its just the half, to go with only 9 assists. When your going up against a tough Spur squad, mainly when your undermanned, you can not give the ball away, plain and simple.
Continue with defensive intensity. Yes, we are getting burned in the backdoor, but our guys are closing in on looks and have active hands, deflecting passes left and right.
Rebound, rebound, rebound. Spurs, so far, only have 3 offensive rebounds and we have 8 more rebounds then they do. We have to keep crashing the boards and keeping San Antonio off of them.
Clippers scrap together an ugly 4-0 run behind a nice drive by EJ and an easy duece for Thornton to cut the lead to 48-53. 7:40 remains in the third quarter. Thornton now has 5 turnovers on the night, and the matchup zone still stinks.
Spurs drop 32 in the third to take a 69-75 lead with 12 minutes left. We stayed in the matchup-zone, Spurs just started draining treys. Even with that, only down by 6, I'll take it, but we need a 15 point 4th quarter performance from EJ and Thornton to take care of the ball if we want to pull this upset.