The San Antonio Spurs (39-7) play the Houston Rockets (22-26) tonight at the AT&T Center. This will be the Spurs last home game before cows, bulls, sheep and country music invade the AT&T Center for the annual Stock Show and Rodeo. The Spurs will begin their Rodeo Road trip in Portland on Tuesday night and won’t return until February 23, against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This will be the second meeting between the Southwest Division rivals; the Spurs narrowly escaped with a win (Spurs 124- Rockets 121) on November 6 in San Antonio, as the Spurs needed overtime to put Houston away. Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 28 points and 5 assists. Richard Jefferson provided 22 points and Tony Parker added 21 points and 14 assists. Houston was led by Kevin Martins 24 points, along with Luis Scolas 20 points and 8 rebounds. The Spurs almost let a 13-point lead slip away and Houston poured in 29 points to force overtime against San Antonio.
The Spurs currently posses the leagues best record and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. The Spurs score 104.3ppg while holding teams to 96.9ppg (Victory Margin: +7.3). The Spurs home record is 24-2 thus far.
The Rockets come into Texas at 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Rockets score 105.3ppg but give up 104.8ppg (Victory Margin: +0.5). The Rockets are 9-16 on the road.
The Top 3 Players For Each Team
Manu Ginobili: 18.7ppg, 4.9ast, 1.76 stl
Tony Parker: 17.5ppg, 6.9ast, 1.39stl
Tim Duncan: 13.6ppg, 9.5rbd, 2.0 blk
Kevin Martin: 23.3ppg
Luis Scola: 19.3ppg, 8.3rbd
Aaron Brooks: 12.4ppg
The Starting Five (Per Jeff McDonald of the Express News)
San Antonio Houston
PG-Tony Parker PG-Kyle Lowry
SG-Manu Ginobili SG-Kevin Martin
SF-Richard Jefferson SF-Shane Battier
PF-Tim Duncan PF-Luis Scola
C-DeJuan Blair C-Chuck Hayes
6th Man-SG George Hill 6th Man-PG Aaron Brooks
Antonio McDyess Chase Budinger
Gary Neal Jordan Hill
Larry Owens Courtney Lee
Tiago Splitter Patrick Patterson
Chris Quinn Ishmael Smith
James Anderson Terrence Willams
PF-Matt Bonner (marrow edema-right knee) out
C-Yao Ming (stress fracture-ankle) out, PF-Brad Miller (sore left knee) out, Jared Jeffries (Hyper extended right knee) doubtful
How do the Spurs win this game?
The Spurs need to limit Kevin Martin and Luis Scolas production as much as possible; allow Shane Battier, Kyle Lowry and Jordan Hill to prove they can carry the offensive load for Houston. The Spurs also mustn’t allow Aaron Brooks to get any sort of rhythm; Brooks is a streaky shooter, but when he gets going, it’s very hard to stop him. The Spurs must crash the boards because players like Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola and Chase Budinger will dominate the glass with offensive rebounds if not boxed out.
Houston gives up 104.8ppg so the Spurs guards and forwards should have an easy night getting to the rim in transition and taking open shots as long as the ball is being passed around properly.
Matchup of the Night
Kevin Martin vs. George Hill: Kevin Martin is a shooting guard who uses screens and a lot of non-ball movement to get his points. Geroge Hill will have a good test on his hands; he must run through screens, audibly call for switches and try to keep Martins production as inconsistent as possible.
- Earlier today, James Anderson was called up to San Antonio during a Toro’s game. Anderson is expected to be in full uniform tonight and play an estimated 10 minutes per game.
- If you are a mentor (coach, parent, or older sibling) teaching a young child to learn basketball the proper way; I URGE you to not let them watch Kevin Martin shoot the basketball tonight!
The San Antonio Spurs win a close game 112-106 tonight and set off for the Rodeo Road trip as the first team to 40 wins.
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