The San Antonio Spurs picked up win number 40 tonight as they defeated their divisional rival Houston Rockets 108-95 improving their league leading record to 40-7.
After the game I spoke with Spurs' guard Gary Neal, who finished with two points and one steal, about the win against the Rockets, his first Rodeo Road Trip and more.
Jeff: Spurs had the edge tonight on fast-break points 24 to 13. This up-tempo style seems to be a perfect fit for the young players on the team.
Gary: We have some energy coming off the bench with George (Hill), and DeJuan (Blair) playing in the starting lineup and I get to play a little bit and I think the tempo plays a lot to us. Tim Duncan is a major key for our offense but at the same time we still have Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and George Hill too, that you also have to try to implement into the offense and try to get them to be most effective.
I think we have a great balance. We run when we need to, and when the game is close we know that we can go into TD and he can come through for us.
The edge in fast-break points stands out, especially going against a defensive-minded team like the Rockets.
Yeah, we knew they were going to come in and play hard and play aggressive. I think we had a good balance tonight of running and also executing on offense the way coach Pop wants us to. I just think to get the win at home before we go on the nine game road trip is extremely important.
Getting 40 wins at this point of the season has to be a great feeling.
Oh yeah! It's huge. Right now I think we are six or seven games in front of the closest team in the West. That's what you play 82 games for, to have the home-court advantage and to position yourself in the best position to make it to the Finals. That's our goal to make it to the Finals and win a championship so that's what these 82 games are doing for us and we just hope we can continue to stay healthy and continue to keep building on our record.
How does it feel to go on your first ever Rodeo Road Trip?
We'll see. If you ask me that at the end of the road trip I can probably give you a better feeling. We are just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully we can come back with more wins than losses.
Have any of the veterans who have done the road trip given you any advice about it?
No, we haven't really talked about it. It's probably going to be a situation where you got to pack enough underwear and stuff like that. As far as basketball goes, we'll take it one game at a time, respect every opponent, and just come out and compete for those 48 minutes to try to win.