Is Tony Parker or Chris Paul the better point guard? Thursday night, it looked like Parker, who finished with 31 points in only 28 minutes compared to Paul’s four points on 1-for-6 shooting. The Spurs punked the Clips. There’s no doubt about that one; maybe it was revenge for the Clippers’ wins against the Spurs in their first two meetings of the year. But there’s still one more chance for the Clips, one more Spurs matchup left. Now, onto Last Call:
San Antonio Spurs
Recap | Box score
|90||Los Angeles Clippers|
MVP: Tony Parker. It’s not often Chris Paul looks slow, but Parker ran CP3 ragged by knocking down pull-up jumpers and getting to the rim with ease for 31 points on 12-for-16 shooting.
X-Factor: No team locks up Chris Paul quite like the Spurs do. In six of his 10 matchups against the Spurs as a Clipper, Paul has scored less than 12 points. They have his number.
Defining moment: There was 10 minutes of game time between the second and third quarters where the Clippers didn’t score a single field goal. A fan hit a halfcourt shot to prove there wasn’t a lid on the rim, though.
Tweet of the Game
If you had “Caron Butler runner 7 1/2 min into quarter” for 1st FG of 2nd half, you’re a winner!
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 22, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ The Night
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
The Spurs follow up a throttling of the Clippers with 48 Minutes of Hell writer Andrew McNeill embarrassing the ClipperBlog writers in a few rounds of What’s in Andrew’s Stack of 1995-96 Basketball Cards?. We’ll get him next time.
Check Your Messages
The DeJuan Blair Problem
San Antonio searched in vain to scavenge some value for DeJuan Blair in the days and hours leading up to the trade deadline. While Blair has demonstrated the skills to be a decent rotation player, the Spurs have been eager to get rid of him for a long time. What is it that led San Antonio to label DeJuan Blair a categorical “sell”?
But Blair freelanced. Against the Clippers, he might find open space, sure, but he’d also beg for the ball. The next play he’d pout and never move from the free throw line. Success in San Antonio is an all or nothing proposition. In Blair, they decided there was nothing.
- Michael Shagrin
Clippers 4, Flattop 3
With about five minutes left in the third quarter, a Clipper fan pulled from the stands – a stocky gentleman with a graying flattop – hit a shot from half-court and won a car. It was the third made field goal of the quarter for someone in a Clipper jersey (he was wearing a Crawford 11 – of course), meaning Flattop trailed the rest of the team 4-3 on points of FGs.
The inept shooting actually started before halftime, when the Clips missed their final 6 attempts going into the break. There were, to quote El Guapo, a plethora of reasons the Clippers lost tonight, but that ten minute scoring drought was the nail in the coffin.
- Jordan Heimer
Putting stock in a single game’s plus-minus numbers is a fool’s errand, but in the case of tonight’s game, those figures tell an accurate story, especially with regard to the Clippers’ stars. Chris Paul was a -31 and Blake Griffin a -34, and man did it feel like it. Paul had no answer for Parker, who cruised to 31 points and seven assists without a single turnover. Coming off screens, driving to the hoop, crossing people over: it all resulted in open looks. (To make matters worse, the Spurs completely neutralized Paul’s attack on offense.) Meanwhile Griffin seemed preternaturally out of position on defense. It wasn’t a lack of effort so much as a lack of savvy: a slew of communication breakdowns, failed switches, and what I can only imagine were meant to be traps allowed for the Spurs to find the rim at will.
The entire Spurs team was operating on a different level than the Clippers, who the largely failed to cause live ball turnovers — normally L.A.’s bread and butter — meaning transition buckets were few and far between. That also meant the Spurs were ready for just about everything the Clippers threw at them. Let’s hope the Clippers make more adjustments before their next meeting with the Spurs than they did between quarters tonight.
- Patrick James
No Parking Allowed
Tony Parker’s mid-range shooting has improved so much over the past year that it’s turned him almost into a new player. Observe…
Shooting from 10-to-16 feet last year: 42.7 percent
Shooting from 10-to-16 feet this year: 46.5 percent
Shooting from 16 feet to the three-point line last year: 37.7 percent
Shooting from 16 feet to the three-point line this year: 45.9 percent
- Fred Katz
Chris Paul’s Kryptonite
Chris Paul has struggled against the Spurs as a Clipper and the numbers back it up:
- 35.9 minutes per game
- 15.1 points per game
- 8.6 assists per game
- 3.3 rebounds per game
- 2.2 steals per game
- 41.2 percent field goal percentage
- 31.0 percent three-point percentage
- D.J. Foster