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  #1  
Old 05-16-12, 12:31 AM
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Spurs aren't rusty after weeklong layoff, beat Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of West

Rested Spurs cruise past Clippers in Game 1 - Yahoo! Sports
Rested Spurs cruise past Clippers in Game 1
By The Sports Xchange

SAN ANTONIO -- Here's a scary possibility for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite a dominant 108-92 victory Tuesday at the AT&T Center in Game 1 of their second-round Western Conference playoff series, Manu Ginobili said the San Antonio Spurs were far from their best.

"It was hard to start," said Ginobili, referring to his team's eight-day layoff after sweeping Utah in the first round. "The rust, you never know where it comes from. Hopefully we'll get rid of it and play better in Game 2."

Ginobili's assertion of sluggishness did not match the stat sheet, which credited the Spurs with 13 3-pointers to tie a postseason franchise record and 29 assists on 39 field goals.

Tim Duncan, in search of his fifth championship ring, led all scorers with 26 points. Reserve guard Eric Bledsoe scored a team-high 23 for the Clippers.

It was San Antonio's 15th consecutive victory, 29th in 32 games dating back to March 12, and 43rd in 50 dating back to Jan. 30. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday in San Antonio.

In contrast to the well-rested Spurs, the Clippers looked very much like a team playing its sixth game in 11 days, including a grueling Game 7 victory over Memphis on Sunday.

Though Bledsoe downplayed any concerns about fatigue -- "We have to suck it up and play," he said -- it didn't help that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were both hobbled by injury.

A potential duel between All-Star point guards never materialized as Paul and San Antonio's Tony Parker both struggled. Paul scored six points on 3-for-13 shooting, and Parker missed eight of nine shots en route to seven points.

But while the Clippers gradually withered, the Spurs thrived despite an off night from their floor general.

San Antonio used a pair of big runs to take control in the third quarter. They led 69-58 after scoring eight straight, then 83-64 with a 12-3 burst.

The latter stretch was marked by a string of beautiful passes, including Stephen Jackson's feed to Boris Diaw for an uncontested layup. Such team play more than made up for Caron Butler's 13-point outburst in the third.

"That's who we are," said Ginobili, who scored 22 off the bench. "Sometimes it's not going to be (Parker), it's not going to be Tim. But if we move the ball and find our open teammates ... we really don't care (who scores)."

Seeking a comeback similar to their epic Game 1 victory against Memphis, in which they rallied from 27 down in the fourth quarter, the Clippers scored 10 unanswered to pull within 90-82.

But the red-hot Spurs steadied themselves and were soon back up by 12 after Duncan dug a loose ball off the floor and flipped in a layup. The Clippers would get no closer than 10 over the final six minutes.

"We weren't able to slow them down," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I thought the tempo was in their favor. We missed a lot of easy shots which got them into the open court."

The Clippers did fight the Spurs to a 29-29 standstill in the first quarter, the first time in five playoff games San Antonio didn't hold the lead at the end of a period.

Center DeAndre Jordan did much of the work for Los Angeles, registering seven points and eight rebounds in the quarter. His breakaway dunk capped a 6-0 run that tied the game at 25.

Parker put the Spurs ahead 29-27 with a late three-point play before Clippers counterpart Paul raced down court to beat the buzzer with a contested floater.

The second quarter opened with a wild flurry in which the lead traded hands six times in the first six minutes.

The Spurs then scored nine unanswered points to take a 50-42 lead. Danny Green's 3-pointer capped the run.

Los Angeles climbed back within 52-49 on Griffin's alley-oop dunk off a towering assist from Eric Bledsoe.

But the Spurs again pulled away with the final five points of the half, with another 3-pointer by Green giving them a 57-49 advantage.

NOTES: Del Negro spent six of his 12 NBA seasons with the Spurs, starting 331 games from 1992-98. ... The Spurs have won 27 of 29 home games against the Clippers in the Duncan era.
__________________
NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
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  #2  
Old 05-16-12, 12:58 AM
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AP: Spurs aren't rusty after weeklong layoff, beat Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of West

Spurs aren't rusty after weeklong layoff, beat Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of West semifinals - Yahoo! News Canada
Spurs aren't rusty after weeklong layoff, beat Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of West semifinals
The Canadian Press By Paul J. Weber

SAN ANTONIO - So much for getting rusty: The San Antonio Spurs didn't miss a beat after a weeklong break, extending a winning streak that few NBA teams have ever sustained in the playoffs.

The weary Los Angeles Clippers looked just beaten — and making matters worse, they're even a little more beat-up than when they got here.

Tim Duncan had 26 points and 10 rebounds following an eight-day layoff for the top-seeded Spurs, who wore down Los Angeles in the Clippers' sixth game in 11 days and won Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series, 108-92 on Tuesday night.

"It's hard to tell if they were tired or not. If we were rusty or not," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "The game just developed that way it did."

By that, he meant the latest Spurs blowout.

The Spurs have won 15 in a row, haven't lost in more than a month and are winning by an average margin of nearly 17 points during that span. It's the longest winning streak sustained in the NBA playoffs since the 2004 Spurs carried 17 straight wins into the second round that season.

That Spurs team, however, wound up dropping four straight to the Lakers and lost that series. The Clippers have a lot of work to do if they're going to stage a similar stunner, and a good start would be getting healthy.

Blake Griffin scored 15 points in 28 minutes a day after estimating his sprained left knee had him feeling "80 per cent" at best. The All-Star said he became tired quicker than usual, and also turned his left ankle early in the game.

"But I'll get back in the training room, get treatment and hope to be better the next game," Griffin said.

The marquee matchup of the series — All-Star point guards Tony Parker and Chris Paul — began with a fizzle.

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 batter, putting together seven points and 11 assists, and didn't talk to reporters after the game.

Paul did face the media after his worst playoff game since scoring four points in a loss to Denver in 2009. But not until after a quick chat with his young son.

"Good game, Daddy," Paul's son said in the locker room.

"No, bad game," Paul told him. "Daddy had a bad game. Daddy couldn't make a shot."

Paul, who was 3 of 13 from the floor, gave a more elaborate explanation to reporters.

"I felt I got all the shots that I wanted. I just didn't make them," Paul said. "That's the most frustrating part. Getting to where I wanted to and not seeing them go down. Can't do that in the playoffs."

Game 2 is Thursday night.

That gives the beat-up and banged-up Clippers one full day of rest — which is all the time they've had to recover between games for the past week and a half. Los Angeles couldn't even fly home first after knocking out the Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 7 of a grueling series that had the Clippers hobbling next to Texas.

Rookie Kawhi Leonard added 16 points, hitting all three of his 3s, and Danny Green added 15 points for the Spurs.

Caron Butler scored 15 points and Nick Young had 13 for the Clippers. Los Angeles cut the deficit to single digits with a 10-burst in the fourth quarter before San Antonio ran away with its 11th double-digit victory during this dominating winning streak.

The Clippers didn't even need San Antonio's help getting more bumps and bruises: Mo Williams, already playing with his sore right fingers taped, took a lump on the head when teammate Reggie Evans kicked him with an errant foot after Williams fell on his back in the lane.

Williams wobbled when he tried standing, sat back down, and the Clippers burned a timeout. He never left the game, but the Clippers weren't getting any fresher.

Parker, meanwhile, finally felt the hard knocks and slow-him-down shoves that Utah repeatedly promised but never delivered in the first round. Sometimes, the All-Star looked in vain to officials when the whistle didn't blow. When that didn't work once in the first quarter, he kept jabbering about a no-call on the last possession while lining up to shoot free throws on the current one.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, pacing and sensing an impending technical foul, silenced his leading scorer.

"Tony!" Popovich snapped from the sideline. "Shoot!"

Parker waved off the NBA Coach of the Year — he was under control. But his frustrations didn't end there. He was 1 for 9 despite playing 38 minutes, scoring all but two of his points at the foul line.

"He didn't score, but he got 11 assists," Ginobili said. "That's who we are. Sometimes it's not going to be him."

Notes: The Spurs tied a franchise playoff record with 13 3-pointers.Before this became the deepest Spurs team yet under Popovich, Butler said he came so close to signing with the Spurs after the lockout that he cancelled a flight to San Antonio when the Clippers counteroffered. "They made a great pitch," Butler said. ...Leonard finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting, the highest finish for a Spurs player since Ginobili finished fourth in 2003. Said Popovich: "He's done a good enough job to make me trust him to be in the starting lineup. I'm happy for him."
__________________
NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-12, 01:01 AM
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Article: Clippers fall to Spurs, 108-92, in Game 1


Clippers fall to Spurs, 108-92, in Game 1
San Antonio puts together a fourth-quarter scoring barrage to win the first-ever postseason meeting between the two teams. Chris Paul is held to just six points.

By Chris Dufresne


The Clippers came back from 24-points down in the fourth quarter of Game 1 to shock the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was one of the greatest comeback wins in NBA history.

Could the Clippers possibly do it again, in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals?

No.

San Antonio held off a fourth-quarter barrage Tuesday night to defeat the Clippers, 108-92, and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

But at least the OTHER team from Los Angeles made the Spurs sweat.

The Clippers chopped an 18-point Spurs lead down to eight before running out of gas.

It was the first playoff meeting ever between the teams, and it made you want to see more.

Stephen Jackson’s three-pointer to start the fourth put the Spurs up by 18, but the plucky Clippers went on a 7-0 run to force Coach Gregg Popovich into a quick time out.

The Clippers did not relent, trimming the lead to eight on Eric Bledsoe’s follow of a Chris Paul miss.

The Spurs, though, took control in the final minutes to win by a comfortable margin. San Antonio has won 15 straight games and 28 of its last 30.

San Antonio showed little rustiness after an eight-day layoff following its opening round sweep of Utah, while the Clippers did appear wary late after its seven-game series against Memphis.

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both started the game and played through injuries that will likely linger through the series.

Griffin started hot but faded late, finishing with 15 points on seven-for-17 shooting.

Paul made only three of 13 shots and finished with six points.

Eric Bledsoe led the Clippers with 21 points while Caron Butler scored 13 of his 15 points in a red-hot third quarter.

Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 26 points while Manu Ginobli had 22.

The Spurs killed the Clippers from outside, making 13 of 25 three-point shots.

San Antonio has only missed the playoffs four times since 1976 and captured four NBA titles in the last 13 years.

The Clippers’ playoff history could be explained on the corner of a napkin, but may not be far from writing more of their own history.

Spurs 87, Clippers 72 (end of third quarter)

The Clippers’ hopes are slip, sliding away after a quarter in which San Antonio looked like the superior team. But didn’t’ we know that?

Caron Butler did his best to keep the Clippers in the same area code. Butler scored 13 in the quarter, but San Antonio’s outside sharp shooters were too much.

Butler ran out of the locker room and hit two quick jump shots to cut the lead to 57-53 (breathless pause)…and then San Antonio went on 8-0 run to push the lead all the way to 12.

Kawhi Leonard’s three forced a Clippers’ time out to assess the situation. It wasn’t good.

It might have been a runaway sooner had Butler not hit two three pointers. Butler, of course, is playing with a spiral break in his left hand. It’s obviously not his shooting hand.

Tim Duncan may be approaching Social Security, but he can still play when summoned to the occasion. You could hang laundry on the line drive jumpers Duncan shoots (and makes).

He has 20 points after three quarters.

At last count, San Antonio has made 11 of its 17 three point attempts, and they’re not down counting.

Four Spurs are in double-digit scoring.

Remember how we said DeAndre Jordan came out smoking? Well, he’s still stuck on seven points and eight rebounds.

Spurs 57, Clippers 49 (halftime)

This series is already interesting. The Lakers trailed Oklahoma City by 15 at the half, but the Clippers are holding strong.

“We don’t want to get in a track meet with them,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro told TNT at the first-quarter break.

Through two quarters, though, the Clippers are knee-deep in the San Antonio relays. The pace is fast…is that good?

Things were going well until a 9-0 Spurs’ spurt put the home team up, 50-42, at the 3:53 mark. This would have been a predictable moment for the Clippers to plead fatigue and fold. But Eric Bledsoe responded with a three and Griffin added a floater to cut the lead to three.

The Clippers got sloppy late though and allowed the lead to creep back to 57-49.

Mo Williams got banged in the head by the foot of teammate Reggie Evans at the 10:38 mark, but stayed in the game.

Del Negro said before the game he was going to manage minutes. Griffin played 10 minutes in the first quarter and returned at the 5:29 mark.

Del Negro and Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich are not happy with the way their teams are playing defense. The Clippers are shooting 47.7% to the Spurs’ 48.9.

Chris Paul has six points, six assists and two steals. The Clippers’ bench of Bledsoe, Nick Young and Kenyon Martin has already scored 21. Tim Duncan leads the Spurs with 12.

Clippers 29, Spurs 29 (end of first quarter)

Pregame note to self: Don’t bury the first-quarter lead. Get the score out and then update America on the Clippers’ dynamic injured duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

They look fine.

Make that more than fine.

Griffin, nursing a sprained left knee, looked downright spry. The guy who said he was only 80% scored his first basket on a jarring, break-away slam dunk.

Maybe Griffin’s 80% is everyone’s 30%. A healthy Tim Duncan, who would kill to have Griffin’s 73%, watched helplessly with his feet planted on the ground.

Just to prove it was no joke, Griffin dunked again to put the Clippers up, 14-13.

Griffin also swatted a shot by the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard halfway back to San Diego State, where he played his college ball.

Whew. Griffin got banged late on his RIGHT knee but is reported to be OK.

The start set up just like Lakers-Oklahoma City series, with the team from L.A. coming off a tough seven-game going against a well-rested team, at home, coming off a first-round rout.

The Clippers kept it close early, but so did the Lakers, who opened with a 12-6 lead before losing by 29.

The Clippers, though, are holding very tough.

Griffin had six points in the quarter, but the bigger news was the emergence of DeAndre Jordan. He was a non-factor in the Memphis series but already has seven points and eight rebounds. He did, though, have to leave after picking up his second foul.

Paul has six points and four assists, and hit a jumper at the buzzer to tie the game.

Clippers made 12 of 24 shots.
__________________
NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
[email protected]
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  #4  
Old 05-16-12, 07:30 AM
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they looked rusty to me, should have won by 25pts but a win is a win!!!!!
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Old 05-16-12, 09:53 AM
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They looked out of sync at the beginning of the game and at times in the 2nd half. But everyone's already giving the Clippers excuses. Just like the Jazz were supposedly just happy to be there.
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Old 05-16-12, 10:04 AM
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It did look rusty as they could have blown this game over in the 1st half.
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