First of all Happy Martin Luther King Day. Dr. King's message and leadership still shines through until today to not only everyone in this great Republic of the United States of America but to those all around the world.
The Spurs (24-15) visited the New Orleans Hornets (21-18) for an afternoon showdown. The Spurs are currently on a two game slide, losing to the Bobcats and Grizzlies, and hoped to get back on the winning track. In both losses, the Spurs issues of turning the ball over, dieing by the three-point shot, and overall lack of energy reared their ugly heads. The bright spot in this slide has been the play of Spurs rookie DeJuan Blair. Posting career highs in point and rebounds against the Bobcats.
The Hornets are a team searching for answers. Earlier this season, the front office fired Byron Scott as their head coach and their season has been up and down. They are riding an eight game home winning streak and were looking to stay on the winning track by hosting the Spurs.
Let's not forget, there was a purported trade offer by the Spurs for Chris Paul in exchange for Tony Parker last week.
So how did the Spurs do? This is how it went down in New Orleans.
The Spurs started with Tim Duncan, George Hill, DeJuan Blair, Keith Bogans and Tony Parker. Richard Jefferson did not play today due to back spasms and Antonio McDyess and Matt Bonner were back in action.
Tony Parker got things going for the Spurs with a teardrop shot in the paint. Blair made his presence known fast with a shot in the paint and Hill got fouled going to the rim. Let's hope this energy level continues for the entire game. Parker was attacking the rim early on in the game and scoring in the paint. Duncan got in the act and hit a bank shot for a quick two points. Bogans then hit a three from the top of the arch. Spurs went on a 13-6 run on the Hornets early in the quarter. At the 5:58 point it was 15-8, Spurs with the lead.
The Hornets did not back down. They cut the Spurs lead down to five points before Duncan got fouled to go to the line. Then Bogans hit another three to keep the Hornets team from getting any momentum. Parker picked up the offensive foul on Paul which led to a Duncan turn around shot. Ginobili then knocked down another three for the Spurs and at the 2:35 point it was 24-12, Spurs with the lead.
With 7.9 seconds left in the quarter, Hill hit another three for the Spurs. At the end of the first it was 29-16, Spurs with the lead.
After one the Spurs shot 48% from the field, 67% from the three-point line and 56% from the free-throw line. Spurs were led by Duncan with seven points. Spurs committed just one turnover, grabbed 14 rebounds and did not let Chris Paul score at all in the first.
Spurs started with Blair, Mason, Hill, Ginobili, and McDyess.
Mason got things going for the Spurs in the second quarter scoring an easy two after a scramble for a rebound. Blair went up high to snatch a rebound for the Spurs and got fouled, sending him to the line. Hornets Chris Paul got his first points of the game by hitting a three pointer but Parker answered back with a bucket in the lane. At the 8:02 point it was 34-23, Spurs with the lead.
Tony Parker was taking it to Chris Paul and the Hornets, Mason hit a three point shot and the Spurs were just rolling in the second quarter. At the 5:37 point, it was 43-27 Spurs with the lead.
Duncan and Hill connected for a nice play for an easy two for the Spurs. Hill then head faked, got Hornets James Posey up in the air for an easy lane to the rim for a bucket. Matt Bonner got some time on the floor after missing games due to a broken hand. Manu got the steal and got hammered going to the rim by Hornets James Posey. Posey elbowed Manu's nose. Manu got in the lane again to score a reverse lay up. Parker then got into the lane yet again for a quick two.
At the end of the first half, it was 56-41, Spurs with the lead. Spurs were led by Tony Parker with 16 points. Spurs shot 47% from the field, 42% from the three-point line, and 60% from the free-throw line. Spurs committed two turnovers and grabbed 26 rebounds.
Spurs started with Hill, Parker, Bogans, Duncan and Blair.
Spurs started off with a turnover which led to Hornets Devin Brown getting an easy two points. Spurs started off cold from the field as the Hornets began to chip away at the Spurs lead. The Hornets went on a 7-0 run and at the 9:53 point it was 56-48, Spurs with the lead.
George Hill got the shot to go to stop the Hornets run but Peja hit a three to answer back. Duncan hit a shot over Hornets' David West to put the Spurs back up by double digits. Blair hit a hook shot over David West and George Hill hit a three and just like that, the Spurs went on a 8-0 run and at the 6:48 point it was 66-51, Spurs with the lead.
Hornets started to miss shots and the Spurs capitalized. Spurs were fighting for every rebound and had more energy than they had in the past two games. Spurs continued to go on a run now up to 10-0 run. Everything was going for the Spurs. After Blair missed a free-throw, Duncan was there to put it back in the basket. Bogans hit a corner three. But the Hornets still were clawing away. Chris Paul hit a shot with seconds left but Manu answered beating the shot clock for a lay up.
At the end of three quarters, the Spurs were leading 78-51. They were led by Duncan with 17 points. They shot 46% from the field, 47% from three-point line, and 54% from the free-throw line after three quarters. They also grabbed 42 rebounds and committed six turnovers.
Spurs started with Bogans, McDyess, Bonner, Hill and Mason.
Spurs started off slow and could not get the ball to fall in the basket. How bad was it? Spurs had no shots and turned the ball over four times in a row. Duncan finally got the first score for the Spurs in the quarter. Then Posey and Duncan got into each other faces and had to be seperated by the refs. Posey stuck his leg out on Duncan.
The Hornets were not backing down. They kept attacking the Spurs' defense to cut into the Spurs once huge lead. Blair was fighting for rebounds and got the quick two points in the paint. Parker then sliced his way to the bucket for a score then hit a nice floater in the lane. At the 2:53 point it was 90-79, Spurs with the lead.
Manu then snagged a clutch rebound and was fouled sending him to the line where he hit his free-throws. However, Hornets' Marcus Thorton hit a three on the other end. Hornets still were not going away. George Hill then with some clutch defense by picking up the offensive foul on Chris Paul. Paul fouled out of the game.
Spurs hit their free-throws and picked up the win against the Hornets. Final score 97-90, Spurs with the win. Spurs go to 25-15 for the season and will next play the Utah Jazz in San Antonio to start a six game home stand.
Shiny Spur: Tim Duncan
Rusty Spur: Antonio McDyess
- Tim Duncan had a great game finishing with 21 point and 14 rebounds. Parker led the team in scoring with 25 points.
- Spurs shot 42% from the field, 39% from the three-point line and 63% from the free-throw line.
- Blair was a monster on the boards yet again. He finished with 13 rebounds and eight points.
- Spurs bench finished with 18 points led by Manu Ginobili's 11 points.
- Antonio McDyess did not have a good game. In 15:37 of playing time he finished with two points, two rebounds and went 0-2 from the field.
- Spurs grabbed 50 rebounds and committed 10 turnovers.
- Matt Bonner returned to action but did not score in six minutes of playing time.
- George Hill, getting the start due to Jefferson sitting out the game, had a great game. 16 points and six rebounds.