“We shot a good percentage, but we couldn’t stop their offense.”
Said Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers after the Pacers were defeated 112-103 by the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio on Saturday evening.
“We would get a stop,” said Granger (23 points) after the game, “then they would execute and get a good look, that’s why they’re so good at home.”
Granger was right, the Spurs used a multitude of runs throughout the game to defeat the Pacers. Whether it was a 12-2 run in the second quarter to boost the Spurs to a 22-point lead, or a 7-2 run late in the fourth quarter to give the Spurs a cushioned 12-point lead with 3:10 remaining, the Spurs just kept finding ways to stop the Pacers from making a comeback, while stretching their record at the AT&T Center to 21-4.
“Tony Parker hit some big shots, Tim Duncan hit some big shots,” said Granger. Duncan was the biggest thorn in the Pacers’ side as he had yet another double double to lead the Spurs with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks.
Parker also had a quiet 18 points and five assists, but in the second quarter, it was Manu Ginobili who really provided a spark with nine points off of the bench. Ginobili would finish with 18 points and five assists as well.
“Well, Manu and Timmy and Tony led the way,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after the game, “All three played really well tonight and everybody else fit in, but those three guys were all good all at the same time.”
The rest of the Spurs’ players that played did fit in with the big three, as every player who got minutes on the floor scored five points or more for San Antonio. Gary Neal (11 points) and Tiago Splitter (10 points) joined the big three in scoring in double figures.
For George Hill, the former Spur who was traded last summer for the rights to rookie Kawhi Leonard, his return to San Antonio wasn’t as sweet as he would have liked it to be “Unfortunately we didn’t win,” said Hill (9 points), “but that happens sometimes, you win some, you lose some.”
Saturday began looking like a defensive game as both teams scored less than 30 points in the first quarter; the Spurs would open up a 22-point lead in the second quarter, and lead by double-digits throughout the majority of the rest of the game. The Pacers got within nine points during the third quarter, and even seven points in the fourth quarter, but in the end, the Spurs always had an answer.
With the win, the Spurs continue rolling as the hottest team in the NBA with a seven game winning streak, they’re now 36-14 on the season, and will enjoy two more days off before they begin the toughest stretch of their season, the month of April.
Hill was asked if his former team (Spurs) had changed? Here is his response.
“Nothing, it’s the complete same, they share the ball well, they trust each other, they hold each other accountable,” said Hill, “they look to make plays for each other before they look to score first.”
Hill was correct, nothing has changed, except only the new Spurs players are doing the same Spurs things now.