Revenge sure is sweet as the Clippers defeat the Spurs 92-87. After the devastating sweep during last year’s playoffs, the Clippers have come out swinging, going up 2-0 in the season series. For those who attributed their prior successes to home-court performances, tonight’s win proved that the Clippers can indeed deliver on the road.
The Clippers’ 4-game road trip had a shaky start, as they only shot 8 of 23 in the first quarter. However, true to form, it was through a team effort that they were able to regain momentum. The Clippers outscored the Spurs 29-14 in the second quarter, giving them a 5 point lead at halftime.
Once again, the Clippers’ depth proved to be the deciding factor. Not only did the bench contribute 42 points, but reserve Matt Barnes proved critical, putting up 14 points and 9 rebounds. In fact, he played a total of 35 minutes, the most of any player in tonight’s game. And although the Spurs made sure to keep him heavily guarded, Jamal Crawford still ended the game with 11 points.
Moreover, the Clippers found a nice rhythm down low, scoring 56 of their points in the paint. They also dominated the boards and outscored the Spurs 20-8 in second chance points.
For the Clippers, Chris Paul led the team with 19 points and 8 assists, and Blake Griffin had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Caron Butler left the game in the first quarter with a right shoulder strain, but hopefully he will be ready to return for their game on Wednesday.
In the end, the Clippers held the Spurs to 35% from the field. Tim Duncan led the team with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili put up 15 points and 5 rebounds. Stephen Jackson suffered a fracture to his right pinky finger and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.
We will see if the Clippers will be able to sustain the momentum from tonight’s game to continue their success on the road. They take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday at 4:30 PST.