Tonight kicked off the Spurs 2009 preseason as they took on the Houston Rockets in San Antonio. Though just a preseason game it was great to see the Spurs back in action and a chance to see the new guys in a Spurs uniform.
The heavy hitters didn't play as Pop sat Duncan, Parker, Finley, and new Spurs McDyess and Ratliff. Glad Pop didn't play Parker to give him rest and to avoid injury for him since he played during the summer for the French National Team.
The Spurs started off slow and looked out of sync. During the quarter, the Rockets went on a 10-3 run to take the lead and maintain it throughout the first quarter. However it was the rookies for both teams who were stealing the show. DeJuan Blair was a rebounding machine and Chase Budinger was showing he was also a steal in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft going 3-4 from the field.
End of first quarter: 35-26 Rockets.
Again Spurs start off slow while Houston was out and running. At one point the Rockets shot 57% from the floor while the Spurs were sloppy with the ball committing 4 turnovers allowing Houston to go on a 15-3 run on the Spurs at one point. Blair continued to showcase his rebounding prowess while Ian Mahinmi continued to show off his fouling prowess. Ian made silly fouls, and was getting beat to the basket.
The second quarter was all Houston until the Spurs went on a 6-0 run but it wasn't enough to close the gap. The 15-3 run by the Rockets and the huge edge on the fast-break points (19-2) allowed the Rockets to keep the Spurs at bay.
End of second quarter: 58-45 Rockets.
The Spurs started the second half with Mason, Hill, Hairston, Haislip and Mahinmi. Speaking of Ian, he quickly picked up his 5th foul minutes into the third quarter. Has he ever met a foul he doesn't want to commit?
As mentioned before Budinger and Blair were just showcasing their talents. Budinger was hustling and scoring from the field while Blair was just getting started. Blair grabbed his 16th rebound in 19 minutes and finished the quarter with 16 points and 19 boards. Insane!
Spurs stepped it up offensively and defensively to go on a huge run, 18-3, to tie the game at 71. But Rockets did go on a 8-2 run to end the third quarter.
End of third quarter: 79-73 Rockets.
With most of the Spurs big time players sitting, the game got out of hand and it was all Rockets. Blair did continue to board like a beast but it wasn't enough to help the Spurs pull out a win. The Rockets went on an 18-3 run and never looked back. Oh and Mahinmi fouled out of the game. I know, SHOCKING!
Final: 99-85 Rockets. Spurs fall to 0-1 in the preseason.
- Chase Budinger was impressive for the Rockets. 15 points on 7-10 shooting.
- Manu Ginobili played 13 minutes and scored 4 points going 1-4.
- DeJuan Blair is as advertised. He is a rebounding machine. 19 boards in 22 minutes. 8 of those were offensive boards.
- Spurs threw up 21 3-point shots and made 9 of them.
- Spurs had 24 turnovers.
- Spurs had 6 fast-break points.
- Shane Battier did not play for Houston.
- Rockets out scored the Spurs in the paint, 44-30
- Ian Mahinmi looked terrible and didn't impress. He picked up 5 fouls in 12 minutes. We all know it's his "make-or-break" season.
- Next Spurs preseason game will be this Friday against Olympiakos in San Antonio.