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Old 04-14-14, 09:43 AM
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Monday Night Spurs at Rockets Game Thread (7:00 pm)

Mon, Apr 14
7:00
Toyota Center - Houston, Texas


San Antonio Spurs
(62-18)

at


Houston Rockets
(53-27)


Spurs-Rockets Preview
By JOHN KOSIK, Associated Press


While the San Antonio Spurs have already secured the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, things remain up in the air for the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets will try to lock up the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason with a victory over the Spurs on Monday night.

Following fifth-place Portland's 119-117 overtime win over Golden State on Sunday night, Houston (53-27) sits just a half-game ahead of the Trail Blazers (53-28) heading into its final two games of the regular season.

The Rockets and Blazers are assured of facing each other in the opening round, and the only thing left to be determined is where the series will begin.

A victory over San Antonio would settle things since the Rockets won the season series with Portland 3-1 to claim a potential tiebreaker. Houston concludes the regular season Wednesday at New Orleans, while the Blazers host the Los Angeles Clippers.

Two losses and another win by the Trail Blazers will send Game 1 to Portland.

Closing their recent three-game road trip with a pair of losses put Houston's chances of opening the playoffs at home in serious jeopardy. Portland has been on a roll with eight victories in nine games while the Rockets dropped five of their previous nine.

However, they returned home Saturday with a crucial 111-104 win over the Pelicans.

"We needed this win more than anything," said James Harden, who had 33 points and 13 assists for Houston, which trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.

The Rockets were given a boost by the returns of Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, who both missed the previous eight games with injuries. Beverley had 20 points in 33 minutes and Howard played 29 and scored 13.

"They both said they were feeling fine and wanted to win the game and we needed that win," coach Kevin McHale said.

Houston may face a juggled lineup against the Spurs (62-18) if coach Gregg Popovich decides to rest his aging trio of stars over the final two games. Tim Duncan is 37, Manu Ginobili 36 and Tony Parker 31, and Popovich will want fresh legs for the postseason.

Duncan and Ginobili, however, already sat out a 112-104 victory over Phoenix on Friday and will have had four days of rest since the last time they played.

Even if they do sit again, the Spurs' deep rotation is nothing to overlook. Danny Green scored 33 points against the Suns and Kawhi Leonard added 18. Throw in solid role players like Marco Belinelli, Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter and San Antonio still poses a challenge without its longtime big three.

The victory over Phoenix gave the Spurs home-court advantage throughout the postseason and was their 15th straight at home. They are 32-8 this season in San Antonio.

"It's a big plus," Green said. "It's not something we were focused on, but we know it will help us. We'll be at home for most of the playoffs. The biggest thing for us is to stay healthy and to build chemistry. Winning games in the process helps and we get home-court advantage. That's just the extra bonus for us."

San Antonio hosts the Los Angeles Lakers in its regular season finale Wednesday.

The Rockets, who won the first three meetings with San Antonio, have a chance to pull off a rare sweep in the season series. It hasn't happened since Hall of Fame centers Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson were battling in the middle in 1992-93.

Houston's season series win against the Spurs is also its first since '96-97.
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Old 04-14-14, 10:04 AM
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I doubt that Pop has any concern what so ever for the fact that the Rockets could sweep the season series. More so he will be focused on what situations present themselves on the court and how his team deals with them.
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Old 04-14-14, 11:53 AM
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again:

please, someone tell pop dont shorten the rotation!!!!
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Old 04-14-14, 01:47 PM
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I'm conflicted here. Would I play them against a quality opponent and rest them against the Lakers? Or do you play them a little in both? They don't have a back to back, the playoffs don't start until the 19th or 20th. So there really isn't an issue of playing too much. If anything, there may be an issue of too much rest.
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Old 04-14-14, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanCaca View Post
again:

please, someone tell pop dont shorten the rotation!!!!
Is anyone on this message board of any influence to Popovich's coaching decisions?

I wonder...

Mombear = Kiwibear?

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Old 04-14-14, 02:39 PM
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I'm thinking TD, TP and Manu will definitely get some playing time but won't extend past 15 mins each at the most. They need to stay somewhat sharp and not just sit around. I agree that injury is critical at this point and I'd be really surprised if any of them play past mid 3rd quarter. I'm particularly interested as to TD's knee which gave us all a scare a few days ago. Hopefully, no news is good news.
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Old 04-14-14, 02:55 PM
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Big Three expected to play against Rockets
Posted on April 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm by Jeff McDonald


After shootaround this morning in Houston, where the Spurs face a Rockets team still clawing for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, Popovich indicated no plans for a mass shutdown of his regulars.

“I want to keep everybody healthy and I want to keep everybody sharp,” Popovich said. “That means you can just sit people and expect them to roll out the first playoff game and be sharp and ready to go. People have to play.”

Read more...
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Old 04-14-14, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Money4Nothing View Post
Is anyone on this message board of any influence to Popovich's coaching decisions?

I wonder...

Mombear = Kiwibear?

$

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Old 04-14-14, 07:05 PM
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The Spurs will rest Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills. GO SPURS GO!!!!
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Old 04-14-14, 07:40 PM
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END OF 1ST QTR - SPURS 21 - ROCKETS 30



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Old 04-14-14, 08:07 PM
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At the half: 35% shooting.
2 turnovers!!!!!!!
Strange game.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:09 PM
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END OF THE 2ND QTR - SPURS 43 - ROCKETS 50



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Old 04-14-14, 09:07 PM
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Yeaaa... Austin Daye is terrible lol..
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Old 04-14-14, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDthaWay2B View Post
Yeaaa... Austin Daye is terrible lol..
None the less, I was impressed and proud of the Spurs reserves. Damion James is extremely athletic. He stops on a dime and reverses direction like no other Spur, bangs the boards and does crisp one-handed passes on the money. Too bad he was acquired so late in the season.

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Old 04-14-14, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurd_On View Post
None the less, I was impressed and proud of the Spurs reserves. Damion James is extremely athletic. He stops on a dime and reverses direction like no other Spur, bangs the boards and does crisp one-handed passes on the money. Too bad he was acquired so late in the season.

I agree. They did more than hold their own. Even though this game was meaningless, I have developed a new found hate for Houston... Between Harden, Howard and Beverly, I'm not sure I've seen more deliberate elbows thrown... They whine so much it gets in the way of their own game. I hate teams that would rather whine than get back on defense... Harden Howard... I'm looking at you. We would crush them in the playoffs.
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Old 04-14-14, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDthaWay2B View Post
I agree. They did more than hold their own. Even though this game was meaningless, I have developed a new found hate for Houston... Between Harden, Howard and Beverly, I'm not sure I've seen more deliberate elbows thrown... They whine so much it gets in the way of their own game. I hate teams that would rather whine than get back on defense... Harden Howard... I'm looking at you. We would crush them in the playoffs.
Most likely so. Pop let Baynes and Ayres play Howard one-on-one with no help defense. We know from last year's Laker series that that is not how he plays Howard in the play offs.

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Old 04-15-14, 02:54 AM
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FINAL SCORE - SPURS 98 - ROCKETS 104



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Old 04-16-14, 12:59 AM
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Wished we could have won that one so they would not sweep us but that is ok. With that ugly rotation it was just an experiment Pop and coaching partners were trying...No worries though!

That fourth Q was atrocious!
The PHYSICALITY of this H Town Team is so Ridiculous!
And the REFS could not have reffed this game any WORSE!!

GLAD Manu got out of there alive!
Lets hope TP is ok after heading to the locker room! Get Well TPMVP!
Hope TD & all Spurs are ok!

Go Spurs Go
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