The Spurs extended their winning streak to seven games on Wednesday night with a 104-95 home win against the Toronto Raptors (13-29).
The Raptors, coming in on a four-game losing skid, had trouble scoring early while the Spurs got out to a 10-0 run, but that was no sign of what was to come.
The Raptors used their zone defense to stifle the Spurs when the Spurs weren't shooting themselves in the foot with sloppy passes and execution.
By the time halftime had come around, the Raptors had built up a 53-42 lead and forward DeMar DeRozan bested his season scoring average of 15 points per game by five points, scoring 20 in the first half.
If that wasn't enough to make you shake your head, the Spurs, who are second in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage, had missed all of their shots from beyond the arch through two quarters.
Luckily for the Spurs, they found their stroke and made defensive adjustments, even surprising DeRozan with double teams that led to turnovers.
The Spurs went on a 13-2, 16-4 and 13-4 run al in the second half to turn the tables on the Raptors, taking the lead and never looking back.
Manu Ginobili led the Spurs in scoring with 23 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. DeJuan Blair finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Parker (17), George Hill (14) and Tim Duncan (10) also scored in double figures.
With the win, the Spurs are now 36-6 on the season and 23-2 at home. They'll look to improve on that against the Knicks on Friday night.
Jeff Garcia spoke to Sean of Hoop Heads North prior to the game and got his key matchup and prediction.
"I think the matchup between DeRozan & George Hill should be an interesting one - two young players continuing to solidify themselves in the league and make a presence felt on their team. If I was a betting man, I'd put my wager on the Spurs, but if the Raptors play solid defense that they are capable of (we've seen stretches of games this season!) then the Raptors could pull the upset in a very close game."
"It’s definitely frustrating. It’s a killer. We were beating up on one of the best teams in the NBA, but we got to hold the lead. It’s definitely frustrating.” - DeMar DeRozan.
In Black and White
Imperfect Blair sparks imperfect win (San Antonio Express-News)
Raptors hold tough against Spurs (Toronto Sun)
Spurs outmuscle Raptors as Blair starts (Raptors Republic)
DeJuan Blair is averaging over 14 points and 9 rebounds through his last three games, including a 18 point, 13 rebound outing against the Dallas Mavericks. Blair has been inconsistent this season, but if he continues to put good games together, he's definitely worthy of your watch list.
Tweeting the game
Los spurs no se cansan de ganar, esta vez a mis Raptors con partidazo del rookie DeRozan, gran primera temporada!!! All Star del tirón - @topa89.
Still can't believe DeJuan slipped in the draft. I'll be saying that for years, but really. #Spurs - @stackmack
The Four Factors
Blair maybe undersized and a lot of people doubted if he can fit in the starting lineup including yours truly at the beginning of the season and now he is proving everyone wrong. For his and the Spurs' sake let's hope that trend continues. However, I still think we need Splitter to play better to make us a tougher team come playoff time.
@Robby_Lim I agree Robby. More pt for Splitter would give the Spurs some insurance and more versatility.
And most people think that Blair will not be good starting center. News flash the Spurs are the best team in the NBA with The Beast as the starting center.