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The Golden State Warriors had history against them on Monday night as they played the San Antonio Spurs, who have not lost a game at home to the Warriors since 1997.
The Spurs kept the streak alive and are now 45-7 against the Warriors in the Duncan era with a 111-96 thrashing of the Golden State Warriors.
Duncan, who went down with a left ankle injury midway through the first quarter and will be out for the next two weeks, left the game with one rebounds shy of passing Dennis Rodman for 21st on the All-Time NBA rebounding list.
With Duncan out, Tiago Splitter contributed with eight points and six rebounds in the first quarter. His contribution, along with 12 first-quarter points form Manu Ginobili, gave the Spurs a 32 to 21 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With Matt Bonner's outside shot drawing iron, the Spurs relied on Ginobili, Steve Novak and Gary Neal to keep the foot on the accelerator against the Warriors to finish off the first half. Normally a high-scoring duo, starting guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were limited to a combined 2 points in the first half, and watched the Spurs go into the lockerroom with a nine-point lead, 54-45.
The Spurs went on a 18-5 run in the third quarter, led by Tony Parker, George Hill and Steve Novak, who hit two three-pointers during the run. Ellis and Curry tried to get the Warriors back into the game in the fourth quarter, but their 27-25 lead in the fourth quarter wasn't enough and didn't come early enough.
Manu Ginobili led both teams in scoring with 28 points. Tony Parker finished with 17 points and 15 assists, and Tiago Splitter made his presence felt with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
“Today (Splitter) had a very good game. In the first half, he played a couple one-on-ones, he passed the ball very well," Ginobili said about Splitter's contribution with Tim Duncan out. "As I said probably a million times, he’s a good player, he understands the game, he’s solid, reliable. He just has to be out there and feel confident and know that the team trusts him. That’s what happened to me, what happened to everyone that comes here for the first time, so he’s going to give us a big hand.”
The Spurs are now 57-13 on the season, are 33-3 at home and are seven games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, which at this point seems to be an insurmountable lead with just 12 games remaining on the schedule for the Spurs.
Box Score | Advanced Stats | GameFlow
The San Antonio Spurs (57-13) took care of business winning another game they suppose to win, beating the Golden State Warriors (30-41) 111-96 at the AT&T Center.
However, the victory was marred when Tim Duncan sustained a left ankle sprain with 7:47 left in the first quarter and missed the rest of the game.
Duncan crashed to the floor after hitting a short jumper, appearing to twist his foot on the ankle of Golden State rookie center Ekpe Udoh.
He was in pain for more than a minute, grabbing at the left ankle with both hands, before he limped back to the Spurs locker room for treatment. X-rays were negative.
Duncan's availability for the Spurs’ upcoming road trip which begins Wednesday night in Denver is uncertain.
What are the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' victory? Let's find out!
84.2 - The Spurs shot a decent 16-of-19 (84.2%) from the free throw line, including 6-of-6 apiece from Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili. The Warriors weren't that bad from the foul line, making 14-of-18 (77.8%) of their foul shots.
49.4 - San Antonio shot fairly well from the floor, making 42-of-85 (49.4%) field goal attempts while Golden State went 38-of-84 (45.2%) from the field.
48 - The Spurs dominated on the inside, outscoring the Warriors 48-34 on inside points.
45 - The Warriors won the rebound battle, outrebounding the Spurs 45-42.
29 - For the second straight game, the Spurs shared the ball very well. They finished the game with 29 assists compared to the Warriors' 16.
• The San Antonio Spurs have invited Manu Ginobili's former coach Ettore Messian to spend a few games with the team:
In the meantime, Messina plans to accept an invitation from San Antonio to spend eight days with the Spurs -- and his former star at Bologna, Manu Ginobili -- later this month.
"I'm really excited to see a couple of practices, some games, watch some films with the team, and of course to see Manu," Messina said. "I've never had the opportunity to see Manu during the season." (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
• The past Spurs-Dallas Mavericks game was not a TV ratings hit in of all places - Dallas:
Friday night's Dallas Mavericks-San Antonio Spurs game on Fox Sports Southwest seemingly should have had enough juice to at least win its time slot.
But another hotly competitive game between the NBA's two Texas titans again came up short in the D-FW Nielsens, as did the Mavs on their home court scoreboard.
The game averaged just 90,034 D-FW viewers, falling well short of NBC's competing two-hour Dateline (180,068 viewers) while also narrowly trailing Fox4's local newscast in the 9 p.m. hour. Fox's Fringe also outdrew the Mavs from 8 to 9 p.m. (pegasusnews.com)
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about a couple of big games on the schedule for the Spurs.
Hit the jump to read how you can win free tickets to the Spurs-Trail Blazers game in San Antonio, Chris Quinn on the Miami Heat, Celtics fans spying on the Spurs, and more.
I got a chance to talk briefly with Golden State Warriors Head Coach Keith Smart, who played with the Spurs during the 1989 season, before his team tips off against the Spurs in just under 20 minutes.
Smart talked about San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, and the myth that he's too old and isn't as effective as he once was..
Even the Spurs staff have joked about Duncan's age in his Bobcats injury report listing him out due to "trop vieux," or too old in English.
Smart says Duncan's contribution has only declined because he is taking on a less-selfish role.
"He's not thinking so much of himself, he's going to make big plays defensively, like he did in Dallas a couple nights ago," Smart said.
Against Dallas, Duncan finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Showing once again, that he is still capable of dominating on any given night.
"He has that savvy NBA veteran know-how," Smart said. "(DeJuan) Blair is going to continue to grow into that role, but he has the luxury to have a veteran to help him along."
And while Blair will be out tonight, likely not because he is "trop jeunes," Duncan will be counted on, just as he was when these two teams met in November and Duncan delivered with a triple-double. Tonight, Duncan will have history on his side. The Spurs have gone 44-7 against the Warriors since Duncan's rookie year.
The San Antonio Spurs (56-13) will host the Golden State Warriors (30-40) tonight and will be looking to continue their dominance over the Warriors in San Antonio. The Warriors have not won a game in the Alamo City since 1997.
This will be the last meeting between the two teams this season with the Spurs currently holding a 3-0 series lead. In thelast meeting, the Spurs won 113-102 in Oakland. Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 20 points. Tony Parker chipped in with 18 points and 11 assists.
It will also be a meeting of two of the best offensive teams as the Spurs average 103.4 points per game while the Warriors average 103.1 points per game. However, the Spurs only allow 97.1 points per game and the Warriors allow 105.9 points per game.
To discuss the game tonight, I turned to fellow Bloguin blogger, Joshua Russell of Warriors Court by far the best Warriors site in the Internet.
In this Q&A Joshua talks about the Warriors yearly struggles in San Antonio, how Golden State can turn things around, will the Warriors snap their losing streak, and more.
Mike: The Warriors have not been able to win a game on the Spurs' home court since 1997. What will it take for the Warriors to end the San Antonio curse?
Joshua: In short, a miracle. Seriously, for the Warriors to beat the Spurs in San Antonio, it will have to take monster games from nearly everyone wearing a Warriors uniform and it would take the kind of defensive effort that the Warriors seldom employ. If I were the Spurs, I would feel pretty darn confident that the streak will stay in tact.
You wrote recently how the Warriors are like an abusive spouse. What do they need to do to turn things around?
In a recent post on ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth, Jeff Caplan talked about Peja Stojakovic's return to the Dallas Mavericks lineup and his 17 point performance against the Golden State Warriors.
Peja Stojakovic gave the Dallas Mavericks a few "what if" moments Sunday night in his return from a six-game absence because of a stiff neck.
As in, what if he had been able to play in the 96-91 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers? And what if he had been on the floor to knock down five 3-pointers as he did Sunday against the Golden State Warriors when the Mavs were firing blanks from long range Friday night in the 97-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs?
"If you look at that Spurs game, we went five minutes without scoring," Mavs guard Jason Terry said. "Peja plays five minutes and puts in 11 points. So, that tells you right there when a guy can get hot like that, and it could be any one of us, but you've got to have that out on the floor. You can't have that in the locker room in a suit or on the training table."
While Caplan, Terry and Mavs fans may have some added optimism due to Peja's recent performance, let's face the facts:
- Peja is not the player he once was. He is averaging 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, and he has only played in 22 games this year with New Orleans, Toronto and Dallas. He also missed 20 games in his 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons and has not played a full season his entire career.
- He also knocked down those five three-pointers against the Golden State Warriors, who are the second worst defensive team in the league.
- The "what if" scenario is a little half-baked. It's the equivalent of writing a post on what if Steve Novak were with the San Antonio Spurs in 2004 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, or what if Novak were with the Spurs when they struggled offensively in overtime against the Mavericks in game seven, just because he scored 19 points against Charlotte.
- Counting on Peja to hit clutch shots in the playoffs is like counting on Dirk not kicking a stationary bike. Ask the New Orleans Hornets, who saw Peja disappear right before their eyes in a seven game series against the Spurs in 2008.
Unless the Mavericks plan on finding some plutonium and a flux capacitor sometime soon, I would take Peja at face value.
What's your take on the latest from the Mavericks? Let us know in the comments and for more on the Mavs, be sure to read Paul Garcia's post on the possibility of both teams meeting in the playoffs for a round three.
When it comes to fan loyalty, none do it better than San Antonio Spurs fans.
Painted silver and black faces, and constantly chanting "Go Spurs Go." Yes Spurs fans are the best and according to Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Index, the Spurs are ranked number one in fan loyalty in the NBA.
So score one for the smaller markets! The Spurs are followed by the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, according to the survey.
Factors looked at included team success, fan bonding with players and team history and with the Spurs being the only professional team in San Antonio, it make sense why Spurs fans are so loyal.
And in case you were curious as to which NBA team has the worst fan loyalty, that be the Charlotte Bobcats.
After Friday nights 97 to 91 win in Dallas, San Antonio Spurs fans have the common ideology that their team may have seen the last of the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs currently possess a league leading 56-13 record and have a 6.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers for first place in the West.
The Mavericks (49-21) trail the Lakers by one game in the standings and hold a 3.5 game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavericks are currently third in the West.
From this Spurs ideology, you’d presume that the Mavericks would hold onto the third seed and most likely lose to the Lakers in the second round. Hence, a Spurs-Mavericks playoff series likely wouldn't happen unless both teams make it to the Western Conference Finals.
But, what if the Mavericks fall to the four seed? Then a possible second round matchup is possible.
An Ode To Wade Phillips
(I named the heading that because Phillips’ Dallas Cowboys teams were known to fall apart toward the end of the season. The Mavericks are currently falling into that position.)
Post all-star break, the Mavericks are 9-5. As ESPN's Jeff Caplan wrote:
“The Mavs couldn't rely on the Spurs to make mistakes and poor decisions in aiding a comeback win.”
Caplan wrote this regarding Dallas’ main issue at the moment, which is starting the game strong. According to Caplan, lately the Mavericks have been struggling in the first quarter of their games. The Mavericks have to play catch-up and it usually works against bad teams like the Warriors but not good teams like the Spurs.
Dallas has 12 games remaining on their schedule. Eight of the teams they will play have a record of .500 or better. Of their five losses post all-star break, all five losses have been to current playoff teams. The Mavericks still have to play the Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets.
If the Mavericks were to lose some of those games, plus one or two to the other plus .500 teams, this would open the door for the Oklahoma City Thunder to grab the three seed. The Thunder have an easier road as they only play seven plus .500 teams and have six under average opponents remaining.
While the Mavericks concentrate on acclimating guard Rodrique Beaubois into their system, they must also try to work forwards Corey Brewer and Peja Stojakovic into the lineup. The Thunder are also in an assembly line reformation as they insert centers Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed into their rotations and allow them to brew some chemistry with the team.
It’s unlikely the Mavericks will slip to the four seed but with the schedule they still have, if they don’t solve their issues, those young guys from Oklahoma have a chance to grab the three seed.
Possible Round 3 In The Ring
• After the loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki and head coach Rick Carlisle spoke on the loss to the Spurs:
But, Friday's 26-12 deficit at home to the San Antonio Spurs was more difficult to explain away.
"It shouldn't have been," Dirk Nowitzki said of the San Antonio slow start. "We had a day off [Thursday] and we weren’t as sharp in the beginning, but then we scramble and made some plays and we were back in it at halftime."
"I've been talking to you guys [media] a lot about the importance of good starts and how they carry over and we needed a better start [against the Spurs]," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. (espn.com)
• Former Spurs and current New Jersey Nets head coach spoke about Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich being there for him:
"He'd keep in touch with me and make sure I was keeping my head up. And every time I was in position to get a coaching job, he and (San Antonio coach) Gregg Popovich were the two guys that I leaned on to help me through. We'd talk about whether it was a good situation for me or not." (americanchronicle.com)
• The Austin Toros went 1-1 against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this past week. Read the recaps at Toros Nation.
• Express News' Tim Griffin shares some quotes from the Spurs-Charlotte Bobcats game this past Saturday.
• Pounding the Rock shares some photos from the Spurs-Bobcats game.
• Here is how you can enter for a chance to score some free tickets to the upcoming Spurs-Portland Trail Blazers game on March 28 at the AT&T Center:
1. Follow @TiqFeed_Texas on Twitter.
2. Once you've followed, send out a tweet that says "Follow @TiqFeed_Texas" and include your favorite live Texas sports moment, followed by the hashtag #LoneStarTiqs for chance to win free Spurs tickets.
3. One person who tweets that out will win a free pair of tickets to the March 28 Spurs-Trail Blazers game.
Former NBA and San Antonio Spurs player Dennis Rodman was known for being a rebound-machine on the court. For his career, he averaged 13.1 rebounds per game and in the 1991-1992 season, Rodman averaged a career best 18.7 rebounds per game. He finished with a career total of 11,954 rebounds ranking him 21 on the NBA career rebounding list.
However, another Spur is on the verge of surpassing Rodman -- Tim Duncan.
Despite averaging a career low in rebounds this season at 9.1, Duncan is ranked 22 on the NBA career rebounding list with 11,951. With four more boards tomorrow against the Golden State Warriors, Duncan will pass Rodman and move into 21st place.
Ranked 20th on the NBA career rebounding list is former NBA player Charles Oakley with 12,205.no comments