After suffering another painful loss against the Jazz, the Spurs (9-9) are currently on a three game losing streak as the host the Sacramento Kings (9-11) tonight in San Antonio. Turnovers seem to be the Achilles heel for this Spurs team in this recent losing streak so this was something to keep an eye out on during this game. It was going to be battle at the guard position between Tony Parker and Tyreke Evans.
Also we have a special game recap from Jon Santiago of Davis Sports Deli. With Jon located in California, he was gracious enough to give us his impressions of the game tonight. Read his views on the game and on the Spurs later in the recap.
So how did the Spurs do? This is how it went down in San Antonio.
The Spurs started with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, Keith Bogans, and Antonio McDyess. Also it was announced Mike Finley will be out for 2-4 weeks. Malik Hairston was activated for tonight's game and probably until Finley returns from injury.
Right away there was a turnover . . . no not by the Spurs . . . but by the Kings when Duncan stole the ball and passed it to RJ for a monster dunk. RJ also hit an outside shot. Nice start to the game. Also it was great to see Dyess hit his outside shot. RJ continued to show his athleticism when Parker lobbed the ball to RJ for an ally-oop dunk!
Dyess blocked a Kings' shot attempt, Bogans hit two threes and RJ hit an outside shot! Very strong start for the Spurs and at the 7:01 point it was 16-7, Spurs in the lead. RJ with eight quick points for the Spurs.
Dyess was very active in the paint and challenging for every rebound. He looked great so far and hit another outside shot. Parker was getting into the lane easily and scoring at the rim. At the 3:58 point it was 22-14, Spurs in the lead.
Parker continued to abuse the Kings in the paint by getting into the lane and scoring. He kept attacking the rim to either score or get fouled. Bogans also showed his outside shooting touch by hitting another three point shot.
At the end of the first quarter it was 30-24, Spurs. Bogans led the Spurs with nine points (all three point shots) and Parker had seven assists. Spurs committed three turnovers.
Spurs started with Bonner, Blair, Bogans, Hill, and Ginobili.
Nice pass from Bogans to Hill for the "and 1" and Kings' Nocioni picked up the technical foul for slamming the ball. Kings rookie Omri Casspi was playing great for the Kings. Hitting outside shots and making the right pass.
Bonner continued his hot shooting with a deep three but the Kings cut into the Spurs lead and at the 8:46 point it was 37-35, Spurs.
RJ came back into the game after the timeout and immediately hit a shot in the paint for the Spurs and then Hill did the same for the Spurs. However, this wasn't enough for the Spurs as at the 6:37 point of the game the Kings took the lead, 44-43.
Spurs and Kings started to trade buckets and the lead but the Spurs lack of transition defense kept the Kings in the game. At the 4:46 point of the game it was 48-47, Kings with the lead.
Turnovers again reared its ugly head again! Hill turned the ball over and the Spurs could not stop the Kings in transition. At the 2:42 point is was 54-51, Kings with the lead. RJ came out of the timeout with another monster dunk but Kings Casspi continued to maintain the lead for Sacramento by drawing the foul on the Spurs. However, Ginobili hit big threes for the Spurs and RJ hit a huge breakaway dunk for the Spurs. At the half it was Spurs 63, Kings 54.
Leading the way was RJ for the Spurs with 18 points. Spurs shot 61% from the field but eight turnovers and poor transition defense allowed the Kings to stay in the game. Spurs bench scored 20.
Spurs started with Jefferson, Duncan, McDyess, Parker, and Bogans.
Parker continued to attack the paint and score and early on the Spurs were leading 70-58 at the 9:25 point of the quarter. RJ kept on hitting his outside shot for the Spurs and Duncan was punishing the Kings in the paint. At the 7:02 point of the quarter it was 74-64, Spurs. Bonner hit another three for the game, Duncan hit a shot at the top of the key and at the 2:06 point of the game it was 89-77, Spurs.
At the end of the quarter it was 89-82, Spurs. Tyreke Evans hit a last second layup to end the quarter.
Spurs started with Hill, Blair, Ginobili, Bonner, and Jefferson.
RJ hit another three to start the quarter. George Hill then hit the lane hard and got the "and 1" for the Spurs. At the 8:39 point of the quarter it was 97-86, Spurs.
Mason hit an outside shot. Let's hope this is a sign of good things to come from him. But the Kings start to chip away at the Spurs lead and get it to a six point deficit. But Mason again hit another outside shot but Kings' Casspi hit a three and at the 6:08 point of the quarter it was 101-96, Spurs.
With the Kings charging back into the game, Parker hit a tear-drop shot in the lane. Things then get heated between Bonner and Kings' Donte Greene as they fought for a loose ball. You know Greene did not want a part of Bonner. However the Kings were just outscoring the Spurs in the paint scoring 56 so far in the game. At the 2:43 point it was 107-102, Spurs.
Then TD with a huge block which led to a Manu drive to the basket for the "and 1." can it get better for Manu? Yes it can! Manu then crossed-over his defender for a sweet drive to the rim for a dunk! At the 1:57 point it was 112-102, Spurs.
It was just a matter of playing out the clock and passing the ball as the Spurs picked up the win tonight beating the Kings 118-106.
Spurs record is now 10-9. Their next game will be against the Charlotte Bobcats this Friday night. Project Spurs/The Spurscast will be hosting a live pre and post game show.
- Jefferson led the way for the Spurs with 23 points and eight rebounds. He did have four turnovers. It was noticeable the Spurs made it a point to get the ball to RJ throughout the game.
- After having a few terrible games, McDyess had six points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
- Parker had 11 assists to go along with 18 points.
- The Spurs shot 89% from three-point line going 8-9.
- Spurs committed 13 turnovers.
- Manu looked great tonight scoring 20 points, three assists, and two steals off the bench for the Spurs.
- Spurs bench scored 45 points.
- The Spurs got outscored in the paint 62-48.
If you’re a Kings fan (and more than likely you’re not, otherwise why would you be visiting Project Spurs), don’t be disheartened. Their record now falls to 9-12 after tonight’s loss. But remember the Kings have played two back-to-backs the past five days, playing tough in all of four match-ups. And if you watched last night’s contest, they spent a ton of energy and were narrowly defeated by the Hornets in New Orleans.
The Kings played the way their fans have grown accustomed to seeing them play this season – with toughness, energy and excellent team basketball. One play that stood out tonight was a four-Kings-on-two-Spurs fast break that led to an easy bucket for Sacramento in the second quarter. That type of effort you see from four out of five guys is what makes the Kings so fun to watch this year.
This game was reminiscent of all four-games these past five days. The Kings knocked on victory’s door in every contest, but just ended up losing to teams that had more rest than them.
For Spurs fans, your team may not be performing at its peak right now. But one aspect your team has covered is its level of composure. Several times throughout the game, the Kings came roaring back to cut the deficit within striking distance. And the Spurs had an answer every time – especially at the end of the second and fourth quarters.
I haven’t had an opportunity to watch much Spurs basketball this season. But I am well aware of where they are in the standings. And yes Spurs fans, your team isn’t dominating right now. I know, I know - it would be fun to see the Spurs tearing the League up the way the Los Angeles Lakers & Orlando Magic are...
But why panic?
When you make wholesale changes to your roster, sometimes things don’t click right away. If by mid-February, the Spurs continue their current trend, I’d worry. But call for concern is not necessary in mid-December.
A postgame quote from Paul Westphal on the Spurs
“We gave them every single thing we could to give us a chance to win the game. They had to shoot the lights out. They executed in the fourth quarter the way (you'd expect) the San Antonio Spurs would execute.”