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Just two days after the San Antonio Spurs embarrassed the Miami Heat at the AT&T Center on national television, the Los Angeles Lakers came into San Antonio on a six-game win streak and turned the tables, giving the Spurs their 12th loss of the season 83-99.
The Lakers came out on fire, with several players getting started early while the Spurs struggled.
With 8:35 remaining in the first quarter, Tony Parker hit a jumper that tied the game at 8-8, and that's about as close as it would get for the Spurs for the remainder of the game.
The Spurs would only score five more points that quarter and didn't score at all on the final four minutes as the Lakers went on a 12-0 run to end the quarter up 21 points 34-13.
It wouldn't get much better from there as the Lakers outscored the Spurs in the next two quarters, while the Spurs bench did their best to make the final score respectable in the fourth.
The Spurs were lead in scoring by Gary Neal's 15. Tony Parker and George Hill added 14 apiece. The loss to the Lakers gave the Spurs just their third home loss of the season.
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• San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal summed up today's huge loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:
"They hit us in the mouth from the beginning and by the time we realized it, it was the ninth round and we were down on the scorecard," Spurs guard Gary Neal said. (woai.com)
• Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry relishes the under-dog role while the Spurs get more of the attention:
“People didn’t predict us to do much before the season and they’re not predicting us to do much now. We’ll continue to relish that [underdog] role and play with a chip on our shoulder. That’s the only way to fly.” (cleveland.com)
• RedsArmy.com is keeping an eye on the Spurs as a possible Boston Celtics-Spurs NBA Finals could happen in June.
• Former Spurs' player Alonzo Gee - now with the Cleveland Cavaliers - had this to say about his former teammate Gary Neal:
“He worked really hard,” Gee said. “He can really shoot the ball. I knew he was going to do really well, especially in the system that he’s in.” (cleveland.com)
Hit the jump to read about the Spurs and advanced metrics, the Austin Toros, trades the Lakers didn't make and more.
San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan spoke on facing the Los Angeles Lakers today in what could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals.
Former Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson is in San Antonio and with today's huge contest between the Spurs and Lakers, Magic gave his thoughts on the Spurs crushing the Miami Heat and asks the Spurs to be "nice" to his Lakers.
The San Antonio Spurs (51-11) will face the Los Angeles Lakers (44-19) today in San Antonio as the Spurs will look to send a message to the Lakers that it's the Spurs who rule the West.
The Spurs are coming off a 125-95 win over the Miami Heat and will be looking to clinch the season series against the Lakers. Currently, the Spurs hold a 2-0 regular season series lead. The Spurs last win against Los Angeles was a thrilling 89-88 win sealed with a game-winning tip-in by Antonio McDyess in February.
The Lakers are coming off a 92-84 win against the Charlotte Bobcats and will be looking to get a win at the AT&T Center - a place where the Spurs are seemingly unbeatable at 29-2. The Lakers are also playing better basketball since the All-Star break and are currently on a six game winning streak.
For the series, Spurs' Tony Parker is averaging 22 points while DeJuan Blair averages 9.2 rebounds against the Lakers.
To talk about today's contest, I turn to friend of Project Spurs Rey Moralde of The No Look Pass a great site on the Internet for all things Lakers and more. Click HERE to read the Q&A I did for Rey.
In this Q&A, Rey talks about the Lakers improved play, if the Lakers are still the team to beat and more.
Jeff: Seems after the All-Star break the Lakers are playing more consistently. What has been the difference?
Rey: They are way better defensively. Even when they struggled offensively against Charlotte last night, they held them to 84 points and under 40 percent shooting. When they beat Oklahoma City, they held them to 31 points in the 2nd half. While they struggled early against Minnesota, they held them to 34 in the 2nd half. So they're getting it done on the defensive end.
Also... it looks like Ron Artest has found his groove. Sure, he only scored 5 points against the Clippers and 6 against Minnesota but he's finally playing topnotch D again. And if you're looking for that signature game from him this season, the one against Portland was it: 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.
If these two teams do meet in the Western Conference Finals, how do you see the series ending?
• The San Antonio Spurs will face the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow and Lakers' Shannon Brown says there's a good chance the Lakers and Spurs will meet in the playoffs:
"It's a good chance of it," Shannon Brown said of a potential Alamo-Hollywood showdown in the postseason. "We can't continue to give them confidence to know that they can come out and they can play with us and they can beat us. When we go in there Sunday it's going to be a dogfight." (espn.com)
• Lakers coach Phil Jackson talks about the mindset the Lakers need to have entering tomorrow's contest with the Spurs:
"If we play Sunday like we did [against the Bobcats], we're not going to be in the contest, there's no doubt about that," said Jackson. "But, we find a way against that team, we find a way to play against them and we'll compete." (espn.com)
• Lakers' Derek Fisher sprained his elbow against the Charlotte Bobcats but Lakers coach Phil Jackson says Fisher will be OK for tomorrow's game:
"I think he'll be ready," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "He's strong as an ox. He's got enough strength to probably hold it together."
Fisher declined to talk to reporters after the game other than to say "Yep" when asked if he felt all right. (latimes.com)
• Spurs' George Hill talks about facing the Lakers tomorrow:
• MVPTexas.com talks about the Spurs making winning the norm:
One of the good things about an 82 game season is that teams have enough time to work out the kinks, recover, go into a slump, recover, suffer a few injuries, and then still be healthy enough to make a good run in the post season.
It is not uncommon to see many teams in the post season go through any of the above situations. While being consistently good during the season would be nice teams know it is unlikely. However, for the San Antonio Spurs that is exactly what they have been.
• Former Spurs player Dennis Rodman is a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame and former Spur and Hall of Famer David Robinson had this to say about playing against Rodman:
“He was annoying,” Robinson said. “He just would be in your shorts all the time, always there with you. He was a very, very strong guy — a little bit undersized at times, but he never let it stop him. He had relentless energy, and he had no fear.”
• RedsArmy.com is keeping a close eye on the Spurs as the playoffs are fast approaching.
Hit the jump to read about a former Spurs' scout passing away, the Spurs offense, and more.
San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan usually let's his game do all the talking on the court but in last night's annihilation of the Miami Heat, Duncan told his fellow teammates it was over in the first quarter.
Check out the video of Duncan saying it was game over.
In last night's San Antonio Spurs obliteration of the Miami Heat, Heat center Erick Dampier was tossed from the game when he shoved Spurs' Tony Parker while Parker was going up for a layup in the third quarter. Fortunately, Parker - who just returned to action after suffering a calf injury - got back up and he and the Spurs continued their onslaught of the Heat.
Today, the NBA fined Dampier $10,000 for the shove.
Seems Julius "Dr. J" Erving is picking an old ABA team to head to the NBA Finals this season.
The NBA and ABA legend is picking the San Antonio Spurs to come out of the Western Conference and face the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals this June. Aside from his pick of the Spurs, he also compliments the Spurs on their ways of running an NBA franchise.
While many wouldn't argue with his pick for the Western Conference champs, I do question him picking the Magic. But hey, who am I do argue with Dr. J?
I wonder what the Boston Celtics fans at Reds Army have to say about this.
Since the last "Views From The Couch," the San Antonio Spurs have gone 5-1 during that span. They began with: a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, a win over the new look New Jersey Nets, a win at home in which they lost one of their stars against the Memphis Grizzlies, a loss in Memphis by 16 points against the Grizzlies, a win in Ohio against the Cleveland Cavaliers and concluded with a blowout of the Miami Heat by 30 points.
What Happened in Memphis?
After watching the game, it seemed that the Spurs looked out of flux on offense. Passes were a step late, guys weren’t in the right spot to receive a pass and everyone seemed to be using a different playbook before the game. The 22 turnovers were too much to overcome. The lack of defense was another issue. Memphis was able to score over 20 points in each quarter and shot over 50% without any three pointers. The worst part? One of Memphis’ best players (Marc Gasol) got ejected in the first half and the Spurs still had no chance at winning.
Watching the game, I’ll say it’s excusable considering the Grizzlies have only lost eight home games and the Spurs were playing their first game without Tony Parker.
After the game; George Hill, who struggled (6 points and 6 turnovers) put the loss on himself. Even though the loss wasn’t Hills fault, he still felt responsible for his poor play; but as Ginobili had said, the entire team had a bad night. Hill avenged himself by scoring 22 points the next night in a win against the Cavaliers.
The "Heatles" Concert Tour Visits the AT&T Center
The Heat visited San Antonio for the first time and were given a surprise before the game even started. After losing at home against the Orlando Magic, (in which they let a 24-point lead slip away.) the Heat came to San Antonio ready to get back on the winning track. They thought it would be easy with the Spurs missing Tony Parker. Then, moments before the game began, the Spurs announced Parker's injury had healed and he would be starting.
From the opening tip and Manu's first layup in traffic, you could see the Spurs were just going to exploit the horrendous Miami defense. And did they exploit it? Yes they did. They made a franchise record 17 three pointers and had eight of their players score in double figures. Every single player that got any minutes with the Spurs scored at least once in the game. The Spurs ended up winning by 30 points (125-95) and the win also capped their highest scoring output of the season. Before the Heat game, the Spurs previous high in points was 124 in a overtime game against the Houston Rockets.
There had been a lot said in the media over the last week, from Charles Barkley continuing to say the San Antonio Spurs are overrated, to a certain Dallas Mavericks forward talking about having to go through the Los Angeles Lakers, not the Spurs, to get to the NBA Finals.
If there ever was a time to earn respect, it would be to win against a top-tier team.
That top-tier team was the Miami Heat, who were 43-18 before both teams tipped at 8:30 p.m. CST last night.
The same Heat who have an entire section dedicated to them on ESPN, the same Heat who have been penciled in as NBA champions ever since the cameras went off and the telecast of "The Decision" ended.
James and his super friends came into the AT&T Center yesterday and left with a new respect for the Spurs.
"They played extremely well. This is a team that’s clicking on all cylinders right now," Heat forward Lebron James said. "Everyone on the team has confidence Tim Duncan all the way down to the last guy off the bench. We saw tonight why they are the best team in the league.”
The Spurs, who re-inserted Tony Parker into the starting lineup, got started early, with Manu Ginobili getting things going on the offensive end and Matt Bonner leading the Spurs with four three-pointers through the first quarter.
The Spurs ended the quarter up 36-12 and never looked back.
They executed offensively and defensively enough to frustrate the Heat. The first quarter deficit, and the Heat's inability to score at will proved to be a hole to deep to dig out of.
By the time the last seconds ticked off the clock, the Heat had their third straight loss and the Spurs had a dominant 30-point win, 125-95.
Eight Spurs finished in double figures, led by Ginobili's 20 points and the Spurs set a record with 17 three-pointers made.
Jeff Garcia talked to Surya Fernandez of the excellent Hot Hot Hoops blog and got his thoughts before last night's game.
"Ginobili. He's too smart and crafty not to wear down his defender, which should be Wade. If he gets it going, I'm not sure how the Heat will respond because they don't have a lockdown perimeter defender (like a Bruce Bowen) to come off the bench to relieve Wade. Their guards off the bench are shooters like Eddie House and I don't see Mike Bibby defending Ginobili."
"This is the toughest back-to-back set for the Heat, especially after the emotionally draining loss last night to the Magic. The Spurs should win the game but the Heat might be extra motivated to prove their doubters wrong and if the Big 3 are firing on all cylinders they can be unstoppable."
Tony Parker is back, and if you've had him buried on your roster, he proved last night that he does not need to be brought back slowly. He's ready, he'll get his starting minutes back, and his 15 points and eight assists should be enough to get your attention, considering it was his first game back.
“We basically got blitzed right from the beginning, we made a little bit of a run there at the end of the second quarter. But, they outplayed us, blitzed us, and there’s nothing really else to say.” - Heat coach Erik Spolestra.
Tweeting the game
"El Heat got whooped by Los Spurs last night @KingJames and co better dial their La Talents up." - @per_dm.
"Further proof that $ doesn't always by happiness!!!" -@katemdempsey.