Notebook: Spurs 101, Pacers 79

Posted Nov 5, 2012 11:52 PM

By Tim Price, for

THE FACTS: Gary Neal came off the bench to score 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and the Spurs' productive reserves showed a double-double from DeJuan Blair (14 points, 11 rebounds) as San Antonio easily defeated Indiana 101-79 for the team's first 4-0 start in its 40-year history Monday at AT&T Center.

Indiana, which won in double-overtime two nights ago against Sacramento, was led by George Hill's 15 points and David West's second straight double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds). But the Pacers (2-2) shot 34 percent from the field and turned the ball over 19 times compared to eight for San Antonio.

QUOTABLE: "We caught a break tonight. Without (Danny) Granger, their team loses their spacing and their ability to hang tough in certain periods of the game when he would keep them in the game. I thought our defense was very good tonight. It was impressive." -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

THE STAT: Indiana stumbled through an 0-of-10 stretch from the end of the first quarter through the opening five minutes of the second and dug an early 20-point deficit. None of those shots came from within 12 feet of the basket, and for the night San Antonio's defense turned the Pacers into largely a jump shooting team by outscoring Indiana 52-24 in the paint.

TURNING POINT: Indiana trimmed San Antonio's 20-point second quarter lead to single digits by halftime when the Pacers scored 11 unanswered points to end the first half. But the Pacers came out flat to start the second half. On their first six possessions they committed three turnovers and missed two shots. They trailed by double digits the rest of the way.

QUOTABLE II: "We turned the ball over a lot. We didn't get open shots."
-- Roy Hibbert (1-of-7 from the floor, five rebounds and three turnovers).

HOT: After a 1-of-5 shooting night in the season-opener, Neal has gone 15-of-20 in the three games since.

NOT: Tyler Hansbrough has gone 22-of-25 from the free-throw line this season, but he was 1-of-7 from the floor tonight and is 2-of-10 in 39 minutes the past two games.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: After averaging less than eight minutes per game in the Spurs' playoff run last year, Blair resurfaced with a double-double (14, 11) that also came with four assists in less than 30 minutes of play.

INSIDE THE ARENA: After spending the first two home games wearing the new silver-gray alternative uniforms with the Spurs logo on the front, San Antonio returned to the traditional home white uniforms tonight.

GOOD MOVE: Pacers coach Frank Vogel stated before the game that he wanted Hibbert to be active on offense so that the Pacers had a chance to wear down Tim Duncan. It was more like the other way around. Duncan took six shots in the opening 6:15 and made half of them while Hibbert missed all four shots in the first quarter -- took none in seven second-quarter minutes -- and Duncan went on to score his third double-double in four games (14 and 11 in 25 1/2 minutes tonight).

BAD MOVE: The Pacers' lineup switch that sent Sam Young into the starting lineup for his defense and Gerald Green onto the bench as a featured sixth man for his scoring didn't pay immediate dividends. This was Indiana's worst defeat of the young season, the fewest the team has scored and the most points the Pacers have allowed.

ROOKIE WATCH: They all got garbage minutes tonight. Nando De Colo played almost four minutes (0-of-2 from the floor) for San Antonio. For Indiana, Ben Hansbrough, Orlando Johnson and Miles Plumlee each played the same amount as De Colo and scored a total of four points. It was the first appearances for the Indiana rookies this regular season.

NOTABLE: The 17 minutes from Manu Ginobili exceeded the 15 1/2 he played Saturday in his first game since experiencing back spasms during the preseason. Ginobili scored three points but had seven assists. ... The Pacers continued to be without Granger, who has missed all four games with a sore knee.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Wednesday @ Atlanta, Friday @ Minnesota, Saturday vs. Washington. For the Spurs, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Friday @ Sacramento, Saturday @ Portland.