67 points, this is just a random number. However, when you give a random number a meaning, a story line unfolds.
Take the San Antonio Spurs for example; the Spurs have won their last three games in the last three nights by a combined 67-points. The Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors on Monday by 21-points, then defeated the Los Angeles Lakers by 21-points on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the Spurs became the only team in the NBA to sweep their second set of back-to-back-to-back games with a 25-point win over the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.
In order to win three games in a row, in three nights on the road, you don’t just need All-Stars, you need the entire crew. The Spurs got the entire crew in Sacramento as forward Tim Duncan was able to take the night off, and the Spurs’ team had seven players score in double-figures, along with a bench that posted 71-points.
At first, the Spurs looked like they were playing their third game in three nights as the Kings took a quick 6-0 lead on them to start the first quarter. The Spurs would respond with their own 7-0 run to get back into a rhythm. When the first quarter had ended, the Spurs held a slim one-point lead over the Kings.
The second quarter was another close quarter as the Spurs were able to get to the free throw line on numerous possessions as they took another one-point lead into halftime, 58-57.
And then came the third quarter. The Spurs opened the quarter with a 12-4 run led by rookie Kawhi Leonard, who displayed dunking, defense, and his outside shot as the Spurs jumped quickly on the Kings. By the time the Kings could respond at the end of the third quarter, the Spurs had already scored 39-points on them, the Spurs would take a 97-86 lead going into the final period.
The fourth quarter displayed the best of the Spurs’ bench as they began the fourth quarter with an 18-5 run. The Kings would only score 11-points the rest of the way as the Spurs put another 30-points on the Kings to blow them out at home 127-102.
The Spurs put on an offensive masterpiece as Gary Neal (17 points) and Tiago Splitter (17 points) both lead the team in scoring, but Neal showed that he could score without his usual “Sniper” method of hitting threes. Neal connected on 8-of-9 field goals and didn’t attempt a three-pointer in the win.
Tony Parker (15 points, 8 assists), Manu Ginobili (13 points, 5 assists), Leonard (13 points, 5 rebounds), and Danny Green (11 points) all played very efficiently in the Spurs’ second half route of the Kings.
The Kings were lead by Isaiah Thomas (21 points), Marcus Thornton (20 points) and DeMarcus Cousins (18 points), but they got little help from the rest of their squad after that.
With the win, the Spurs improve to 45-16 on the season, stay a half game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the West, and are on another five-game winning streak.
The Spurs will fly back home to San Antonio, where they’ll have Thursday off before preparing to face a healthy Los Angeles Lakers team that will be bringing superstar Kobe Bryant back into the mix.
How dangerous is this Spurs bench? In the last three days their bench has scored 71 points on two different nights. That means they could have beaten the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday (67 points) and Wednesday (68 points), with just their bench alone.
That’s a pretty deep bench in my opinion.
This is a :changed" spurs team. They used to relax and appear complacent during 3rd quarters. Now, they play a balanced, energetic and focused 3rd and 4th quarters. Priming for the playoff? Yea, they are peaking at the right time. If the conference finals and championship are played right now, there is no doubt the spurs will be champions. Go Spurs!