The San Antonio Spurs got their 53rd win of the season and their 11th straight against the Sacramento Kings last night beating the Kings, 108-103.
While the Kings were missing Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih, they managed to keep it close, especially in the final minutes. But the Spurs big three of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan proved to be more than the Kings could handle.
James Anderson got the start at small forward with Richard Jefferson being out due to personal reasons, but the pre-game adjustments didn't stop there. Antonio McDyess replaced DeJuan Blair in the starting lineup, which gave the bench some added depth.
Tony Parker finished with 27 points and six assists, and Manu Ginobili had 24 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
The Spurs now have a six game advantage over the Dallas Mavericks and are now 31-3 at home.
“You can’t. You try to make (Ginobili) go right, everybody says to make him go right. You try to double team him at certain times, but he’s seen it all. He’s one of the very best players in the league and he’s particularly great in fourth quarter situations.” - Kings coach Paul Westphal.
I had a chance to talk to Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom before the game and his prediction wasn't too far off:
"Kings lose by 12. I think it will be close until the third quarter. Pop will adjust to the Kings and Westphal won't know how to counteract that."
After scoring only six points against the Lakers on Sunday, Manu Ginobili has bounced back with two strong performances since and his three-pointer last night might have been enough to put your team over the top.
Pooh Jeter is also very interesting and may continue to get decent minutes with Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih out.
The San Antonio Spurs got their 53rd win of the season and their 11th straight against the Sacramento Kings last night beating the Kings, 108-103.
• Last night the Los Angeles Lakers eight game winning streak was ended by the Miami Heat. The pointing finger was on Kobe Bryant who struggled to close the game by forcing bad shots and not playing "team" basketball and what may come to a shock to San Antonio Spurs fans, Lakers coach Phil Jackson paid the Spurs a compliment:
Funny, too, because before the game Phi Jackson was talking about the style of basketball played by the Spurs and Celtics and how much he enjoys it. He said he does not like the brand of basketball played by Miami. (latimes.com)
• Gary Neal might not have been the player he is today for the San Antonio Spurs and he owes that to one particular Spur - rookie James Anderson:
Neal isn’t sure what would have happened if Anderson had remained healthy. “I could be sitting on the end of the bench,” he said. (Express News Buck Harvey)
• ESPN's Chris Broussard has yet to see the Spurs as a real threat to the Lakers despite the Spurs holding a 2-1 series lead and winning a game in Los Angeles:
“I’m not saying I’ve got the Lakers as a heavy favorite, but they are my favorite,” Broussard said. “Then comes Dallas and San Antonio.” (Express News Tim Griffin)
• RedsArmy.com continues to spy on the Spurs as the playoffs inch closer.
• What if the San Antonio Spurs were the Sacramento Kings today? They might be the team on the relocation seat had a deal happened years ago:
Unable to gain entry into the NBA via the Spurs in 1996, the Maloofs struck a deal in Sacramento roughly three years later, acquiring controlling interest in the Kings, according to the league. (bizjournals.com)
• The Spurs are close to breaking season-ticket sales due in large part to their success:
The San Antonio Spurs are on pace to surpass their season-ticket sales goal for the 2011-2012 campaign, in large part because of the team’s on-court performance this season and despite concerns about when ongoing collective bargaining agreement talks between owners and players will conclude. (bizjournals.com)
Look for the Spurs to win 67 games this season and secure home-court advantage throughout the postseason. With their coaching, Hall-of-Fame roster and deep bench, they are my pick to win it all this season, beating the Lakers in the West finals and the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals.
Hit the jump to read about how to win free tickets to an upcoming Spurs game, a huge Austin Toros game tomorrow, Popovich pitching a wine package, a new starting center for the Spurs, and more.
Tomorrow night the San Antonio Spurs will face the Houston Rockets and it seems Rockets' Luis Scola may not suit up:
Rockets coach Rick Adelman did not know when Luis Scola would be able to return from his sore left knee and sounded as if he did not expect the forward to play Saturday against the Spurs.
"We're going day-by-day," Scola said. "I was kind of hoping that by today it was pain-free. I'm always a little bit over-optimistic on these things. It's better, but it's not pain-free, so we're going to keep doing treatment so it will keep getting better and I'll be ready to play soon.
"It is very frustrating, not because I had to miss a game but because it was a very important one," Scola said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to play against San Antonio, and it will be only one game. It's hard, but it's not the first time I've been injured. Hopefully, it won't happen much again. There is a good chance it will happen again." (chron.com)
Scola saw his 311-game streak end because of the injury he suffered. For the season, he has averaged 18.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists in 32.8 minutes per game.
In his last game versus the Spurs on January 29, Scola scored 23 points, had 10 rebounds, and three steals in 36 minutes in a losing effort for the Rockets.
With tonight's home game coming against the Sacramento Kings, I talked to a good friend of Project Spurs and a very knowledgeable Kings blogger, Zach Harper. No, not the one from Sweet Valley High either.
Zach covers the Kings regularly for Cowbell Kingdom, is a contributing writer to Hardwood Paroxysm and an be found regularly on ESPN's Daily Dime chats.
I asked Zach about the team the San Antonio Spurs are facing tonight and another important topic for Kings fans, the potential relocation of the franchise.
1. What's the latest in all of the relocation talk?
The Maloofs have filed for a relocation extension and it was granted. So the Kings have until April 18th to file for actual relocation. Meanwhile, a development group (ICON/Taylor) is putting together a study and arena proposal for the Kings in Sacramento. A problem in this process has been the Maloofsnot providing the ICON/Taylor group with documents about previous arena studies. Also, Arco Arena was changed to Power Balance Pavilion. Weeks ago, they took down the Arco Arena sign and the PBP sign being put on the building has been postponed indefinitely. The Maloofs at the games are trying to look interested but for the most part, it seems like they're just going through the motions. Basically, I'd be shocked if this team is still here 2 years from now.
2. In your work with ESPN, I'm sure you have a great awareness for what's going on in the NBA. What are your thoughts from an outsider's perspective of the Spurs?
The Spurs are extremely impressive. For some reason, people aren't talking about how Gregg Popovich has run away with Coach of the Year, even though he's by far done the most impressive coaching job this season. I love that they've changed their entire philosophy to adjust to their roster strengths. They have role player upon role player to step up when needed. I might be the biggest non-Spurs fan Manuadmirer in the U.S. and he has been spectacular this season along with Tony Parker while Tim Duncan conserves his energy for the playoffs. But I'm still concerned about their team. I think to take down the Lakersin a 7-game series, you just need incredible and competent length. I don't think Blair qualifies to handle their bigs. If Tiago Splitter could all of a sudden get it and become a good 8th or 9th man for them, I'd feel better about their title hopes. But for now, I just think they're one above average big man from taking down LA. It's not impossible, but it's going to be very hard.
By now, every San Antonio Spurs fan has seen or heard about Tim Duncan’s infamous “Game over” stated late in the first quarter of last Friday’s Spurs-Miami Heat tilt.
A nationally-televised game from the folks at ESPN put more eyes on the court and more cameras in the arena. One of those cameras just so happened to catch one of the most unassuming and quiet stars the League has ever seen mouthing the words “Game over.” The Spurs were finishing a quarter in which they had outscored the Heat 24-4 over a six-minute stretch and fond themselves with a twenty-four-point lead after twelve minutes of play. Seemed the Spurs’ star may have had a point, and the fact that it was Tim Duncan issuing the proclamation made it more than newsworthy.
What ESPN and the audience wasn’t aware of was the origin of the remark.
Prior to playing the Cavaliers in Cleveland last Wednesday, Spurs players found themselves in a debate: Matt Bonner or Gary Neal? Duncan and Jefferson had drawn a line in the sand and weren’t budging, Duncan being convinced Bonner was the best shooter on the team, Jefferson adamant it was Neal. The players were at a point they wanted it settled on the court. A 3-point contest was looking to be in the cards—enter the Miami Heat.
The debate still fresh in their mind after a day between the Cavaliers and Heat game, Duncan had seen enough late in the first quarter Friday. The Spurs were on fire, but none more so than the Red Rocket. Bonner opened the game 4-4 from the 3-point line and the shots were so pure they barely touched net.
A break in the action had the Spurs returning to the bench. The Spurs were rolling—Matt Bonner, en fuego. Duncan awaiting, taking his customary breather, Jefferson found himself being greeted by his teammate with a definitive statement: “Game over.” Jefferson smiling, Duncan taking his seat, repeating himself for good measure to make sure everyone understood. He was right, they were wrong … Game over. Case closed. And if you read some of the comments left on the video, it's not hard to see who his remarks were intended for and believe what they were in reference to, when given context.
Jefferson found plenty of humor in the scrutiny and spotlight his teammate’s remarks garnered. But mostly, he was thankful. To hear Jefferson tell it—as he told a small audience at a recent Home Depot event—better Tim than him. “Tim can get away with it,” Jefferson said.
Yes, yes he can. Whether anyone believes the backstory or not.
• ESPN.com spoke about San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich being a man of mystery:
Popovich is the NBA's man of mystery, all right. He's the coach with no fingerprints. He's anti-self promotion, anti-celebrity, even anti-Twitter, once grousing, "If you tweet, you talk too much."
• The Spurs' rival Dallas Mavericks were recently called soft by their own head coach Rick Carlisle and it seems Spurs fan "favorite" Jason Terry took exception:
"Who said that?" Jason Terry said, scoffing at the accusation after he had an off night -- rare for him of late -- with 10 points. "I'm not soft, not me. I don't know where that comes from, but we ain't soft. We have to see how he meant soft in that aspect, but I know he wasn't talking to me personally or any of my teammates because I don't think none of these guys are soft." (espn.com)
• RedsArmy.com is keeping a close eye on the Spurs as the playoffs are nearing.
• In the Spurs' win over the Detroit Pistons, Detroit's Austin Daye's scoring streak came to an end:
Daye averaged 14.5 points in the four games before Wednesday night's contest in Texas. He scored just five points before fouling out against the Spurs. (swxrightnow.com)
• Express News' Tim Griffin spoke on Spurs' Antonio McDyess celebrating his 1,000th game last night against the Pistons:
Veteran Spurs forward-center Antonio McDyess and his team celebrated his 1,000th game Thursday at the end of the Spurs’ short practice. McDyess and his teammates cut a giant cake after the practice finished up. He became only the 97th player in the history of the league to play in 1,000 games.
Hit the jump to read about how you can win free Spurs tickets to an upcoming home game, an Austin Toro player recognized for his great play, a former Spurs' draftee being courted to play in Canada, and more.
Want to win free tickets to a San Antonio Spurs game this month? Of course you do!
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So get to it Spurs fans and you can be at the AT&T Center cheering on the Spurs with a pair of free tickets.
We’re only ten days into March and the San Antonio Spurs (52-12) have already earned their ticket to the postseason. After beating Detroit on Wednesday night, the Spurs rebounded from their atrocious loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon.
Keyword in that last sentence: L-O-S-S.
The question is asked, are there any positive signs to build on from the losses?
I’ve gone ahead and broken down all 12 of the Spurs' losses. I’ve put them into unique categories and given a quick summary of what the category represents and a brief summary of the game.
Self-inflicted wounds represent games where the Spurs hurt themselves in a losing effort. Whether it was numerous turnovers, not bringing the aggressiveness early in a game or just making critical mistakes in crunch time.
- October 30, 2010: New Orleans Hornets - L, 99-90
The Spurs fell behind 18 points in first half of this game. They made an effort to crawl back within five points in the fourth quarter, but in the end, the Hornets early lead was too much to overcome.
- November 26, 2010: Dallas Mavericks - L, 103-94
This game was like every typical I-35 rivalry. Close throughout, physical, emotional, win-in-the-fourth-quarter type format. The Spurs had too many turnovers in this game (17) and it showed down the stretch in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks created separation. Manu Ginobili did all he could with a heroic 31-point effort but in the end, not one player can win against 15 others.
The San Antonio Spurs picked up the win against the Detroit Pistons last night and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke on how well Tony Parker played:
Manu Ginobili spoke about the win against the Pistons and said Detroit did not look ready defensively in the first half:
(video woai.com)no comments
The San Antonio Spurs (52-12) bounced back from an embarrassing loss by beating the Detroit Pistons (23-42) 111-104 and clinch a playoff berth.
The Spurs hit their first 14 shots and finished with a season high 40 points in the first quarter to take a 14 point lead and never looked back.
Now it's time to check out some numbers in this Spurs' recent victory.
64.3 - The Spurs shot a blistering 45-of-70 (64.3%) from the floor while holding the Pistons to just 42-of-93 (45.2%) shooting from the field.
48 - San Antonio won the inside battle, outscoring Detroit 48-38 on inside points.
46.2 - The Pistons shot well from behind the arc, making 6-of-13 (46.2%) three point attempts. The Spurs only made 6-of-16 (37.5%) shots from beyond the arc.
39 - Detroit controlled the boards, outrebounding San Antonio 39-32.
23 - Tony Parker led all scorers with 23 points. He also added seven assists and four steals on 11-15 shooting from the field.
20 - Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 20 points off the bench.