The Clippers have managed to look like a title contender in the midst of the Blake Griffin injury. However, a matchup with the Spurs on Tuesday would show if Los Angeles is up to par in regards to title contention. To make matters worse, the Clippers were at San Antonio, where the Spurs have yet to lose this season.
Chris Paul carried the Clippers through the first quarter, scoring ten of their 21 points on 4/7 shooting; he assisted on two of the other three baskets. For the Spurs, it was Aldridge whose hand was semi-hot in the first. He managed to collect eight points but did so on 3/8 shooting. Kawhi Leonard remained quiet and only attempted four shots and hit two of them.
The offenses for both teams picked up in the second quarter, but the Spurs were able to outshoot the Clippers and hung 29 points on them. Leonard finally joined in on offense and led with 10 points on 4/5 shooting while Chris Paul was still doing what he could for the Clippers. LA scored 23 points in the quarter with eight of them coming from Paul. He dished out five assists and created nine of the Clippers’ ten total field goals. San Antonio led 48-44 going into halftime.
Out of the break, Jeff Green came alive for the Clippers while Paul cooled off. Green put in ten of Los Angeles’ 26 points while Chris Paul shot just 1/4 in the period. The Spurs kept in close and had a 23-point quarter that was led by Manu Ginobili’s seven points off the bench. Aldridge and Leonard combined for just six points on 3/8 shooting, but Leonard played the passing lanes and picked off three steals.
The Spurs had just a one-point lead entering the fourth, but their defense locked down the Clippers, and their offense was unbelievable. LA shot just 38% from the floor and registered 17 points while San Antonio got whatever they wanted en route to a 37-point quarter. Of those 37 points, 27 came from bench players, and David West and Patty Mills combined for 15 on 7/10 shooting.
The final was 108-87 for the Spurs, and Kawhi Leonard led them with 20 points. Tim Duncan recorded just six points but was able to pass John Havlicek on the all-time scoring list. For the Clippers, they were led by Chris Paul’s 22 points and eight assists.
LAC looks to get back on track against the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday. The Spurs will aim to continue their home winning streak against the Trail Blazers on Thursday.
Around The League
Bojan Bogdanovic recorded a career-high 44 points in the Nets’ victory over the Sixers, 131-114; he shot 17/27 from the field and hauled in eight rebounds. Isaiah Canaan led Philly with 20, and Ish Smith and Nerlens Noel both had 18.
The Raptors were able to down the Bucks without DeMar DeRozan, 107-89. Kyle Lowry led with 25, and five other Raptors scored in double-digits — including a career-high 17 from Norman Powell. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo finished one assist shy of a triple-double (18p/12r/9a).
Evan Fournier (the guy who doesn’t want you Googling his last name) tied his season-high with 30 points in a win over Denver, 116-110. Jason Smith and Victor Oladipo combined for 48, and Aaron Gordon threw down a sick reverse dunk for two of his 16 points.
BOS 93 – IND 103
DEN 110 – ORL 116
PHI 114 – BKN 131
TOR 107 – MIL 89
LAC 87 – SAS 108
SAC 106 – LAL 98