Notebook: Clippers 92, Spurs 87



Posted Nov 20, 2012 12:21 AM

By Tim Price, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Chris Paul scored 19 points for the Clippers and Blake Griffin added 16 points and 12 rebounds as Los Angeles won for the sixth straight time with a 92-87 victory over San Antonio on Monday at AT&T Center.

The Clippers (8-2) started a four-game road trip by withstanding a rally that saw the Spurs cut a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to two points with a minute to go. But the Clippers scored five of the game's final seven points, aided by two offensive rebounds by Eric Bledsoe (nine points, five rebounds), to seal it.

The Spurs (8-3) were hit with an injury to Stephen Jackson, who broke a bone in the pinky of his right (shooting) hand during the first quarter and is expected to miss at least four weeks. Jackson was making his second start at small forward in place of Kawhi Leonard, who is expected to miss at least the next week with right quadriceps tendonitis.

QUOTABLE: "I thought for a portion of that game we were an embarrassment. I thought of all our games this game was in the 'soft' category. We never had five guys that competed hard enough to win the basketball game. The Clippers took it with their aggressiveness, their toughness, both mentally and physically." -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

THE STAT: San Antonio outscored the Clippers by 27 points from the 3-point line and free-throw line combined. But the Spurs could not convert L.A. turnovers into points and were outhustled on the offensive glass. The Clippers turned the ball over 17 times compared to the Spurs' 14, but L.A. led in points off turnovers 18-8. And the Clippers led in second-chance points 20-8, converting 10-of-17 chances compared to 2-of-9 for the Spurs.

TURNING POINT: The Spurs like the outside shooting, physical defense and toughness of a player like Jackson. So when he came out after the injury, the Spurs seemed to lack something from all those categories. During the next 8:40, while the Clippers outscored San Antonio 23-7, the Clippers outshot the Spurs 8-of-14 to 2-14. For the entire second quarter the Clippers had a 14-4 edge in points in the paint. San Antonio led 28-18 after the first quarter and trailed 47-42 at halftime. The Clippers led the rest of the night.

QUOTABLE II: "(The Spurs losing Jackson and not having Leonard) opened up a lot. They were so small we could throw it into Blake (Griffin) and he could just go to work." -- Bledsoe

HOT: DeAndre Jordan went 5-of-8 tonight for 13 points. In two games against San Antonio this season (both Clippers wins) he's a combined 15-of-20 for 33 points.

NOT: Manu Ginobili started 2-of-2, then missed his next nine shots from the floor. During his streak he showed his frustration by appearing to throw an elbow to the midsection of Matt Barnes. He was whistled for an offensive foul and had to wait while the officiating crew looked at video replay to determine if there was evidence to enforce a flagrant foul. They did not.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Powered by an 8-of-10 night from the free-throw line, Tim Duncan scored 20 points and had 14 rebounds with two blocked shots. It's his sixth double-double in 11 games this season.

GOOD MOVE: The Clippers got production on the offensive boards from a couple of unlikely sources. First, Barnes snared three-straight offensive rebounds and converted each one of them for points during L.A.'s 23-7 run after the Jackson injury. Next, after Ryan Hollins fouled out (he picked up six fouls in 14 minutes), Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro inserted little-used Ronny Turiaf (seven minutes total in the past two games), and he grabbed three offensive rebounds in the first two and a half minutes of his appearance in the final quarter. He converted two of the three rebounds for points.

BAD MOVE: Though the Spurs did make a fourth-quarter rally, their attempt at sparking something earlier was thwarted in part by Ginobili's elbow at Barnes. The Spurs were trying to cut the lead to four points with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the quarter when the Spurs were running an inbounds play following Willie Green's block of Ginobili's layup attempt (the Spurs thought Ginobili was fouled). Instead of cutting the lead to four, the Clippers soon were ahead by eight.

ROOKIE WATCH: The Spurs' Nando De Colo, the only rookie on the floor, played five minutes in the second quarter without scoring a point, turning it over twice and fouling twice. He had a steal.

NOTABLE: Caron Butler (right shoulder strain) came out of the game for good after playing nine minutes in the first quarter. Del Negro said before the game that the shoulder had been bothering Butler. ... Duncan tied Hal Greer for fifth in league history for most games played with only one franchise with his 1,122 game played for the Spurs.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers: Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Friday @ Brooklyn, Saturday @ Atlanta. For the Spurs: Wednesday @ Boston, Friday @ Indiana, Sunday @ Toronto.