Spurs Down New-Look Clippers
Gameday: Spurs vs. Clippers: 12/28/11
SAN ANTONIO -- The Los Angeles Clippers might be the talk of the Western Conference right now, but the San Antonio Spurs showed they still have plenty of life left.
Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and DeJuan Blair added 20 to lead the Spurs to a 115-90 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night.
Blake Griffin scored 28 points for the Clippers, while Chris Paul was held to 3-of-10 shooting and finished with 10 points.
Richard Jefferson added 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting for the Spurs, who have won 17 straight home games against the Clippers, a streak that dates to Jan. 31, 2002. Tony Parker scored 14 points, James Anderson 12 and Tim Duncan 10.
The Spurs hit 45 of 80 shots from the field while limiting the Clippers to 29-of-74 shooting. San Antonio led by only four points at halftime but outscored Los Angeles 38-17 in the third quarter to take control.
"Our defense in the second half was great," Ginobili said. "They couldn't get lobs. They scored under 40 in the second half. We were pretty good on defense. We moved the ball, and everybody scored."
San Antonio outscored Los Angeles 57-36 in the second half.
"They tore us apart in that third quarter," Griffin said. "Our defense needs to be better, and it can get better. The good thing about the mistakes out there is that they are easily correctable."
While Blair didn't limit Griffin's scoring, he was able to do enough offensively to nearly offset him.
"I try to read them," Blair said. "They're very athletic. They jump high. I jump a little bit, but I'm undersized, so I just try to read them. Just look for schemes to get around the taller defenders. I watch a lot of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, try to get a low shot. But I'm doing great with what I'm doing."
The Clippers weren't able to get closer than 19 in the fourth quarter. After DeAndre Jordan's free throw made it 98-79, Ginobili hit a 3-pointer then found Blair for a short jumper to put the Spurs up 103-79.
"They're dunkers," Blair said while laughing when asked about the Clippers being called Lob City. "But, yeah, not tonight.
The Spurs hit 16 of 21 shots in the third, with Parker scoring 10 on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Anderson converted a three-point play with 0.3 seconds left in the quarter to give San Antonio its biggest lead of the game at that point -- 96-71.
"We were down four, and I look up to see we are down 68-58 at one point," Paul said. "We are going to practice tomorrow and figure out what we did right and figure out what we did wrong. First things first, we need to start with me."
The Spurs led 58-54 at halftime behind 16 points from Ginobili, who hit 4 of 6 attempts from 3-point range in the half.
Blair added 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Jefferson had 10, including a pair of 3-pointers. Griffin had 16 points in the first two quarters and scored all but four of those points on either layups or dunks.
San Antonio led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Clippers went on a 16-4 run and tied the game 52-all on Griffin's dunk with 47 seconds left in the half.
The Spurs led 26-19 entering the second quarter after holding the Clippers to 8-of-22 shooting in the first. The Clippers jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Ginobili responded by scoring the next nine points. Ginobili sandwiched two 3-pointers around three free throws after he was fouled by Chauncey Billups on a 3-pointer.
I'm kind of surprised," Ginobili said of the team's 2-0 start. "I didn't think that the team was ready to have two games like this -- to be so solid defensively. We're looking sharp, but I don't want to get too confident. I don't think it's fair or it's true. We still have a long way to go. It just so happened we played two very good games."
Jordan hit 4 of 6 free throws. He went 4 of 12 in the opener against Golden State. ... Since Dec. 10, 1997, the Spurs have won 47 of 52 against the Clippers. ... The Spurs are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2008. ... The big win allowed the Spurs to rest several key players. Duncan played 26 minutes, while Ginobili and Parker played only 27. ... Caron Butler and Mo Williams each had 12 points for the Clippers. Billups had 11 . Ginobili hit 5 of 8 3-pointers and 7 of 7 free throws.
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