While the San Antonio Spurs’ camouflage uniforms, worn for military celebration night, may not have had many proponents, it’s hard to argue with a win.
The Spurs hosted the Washington Wizards on a one-game home stand and their recent trend of big wins didn’t end on the East coast, as the Spurs finished off the Wizards early in a 92-79 victory, good enough for their sixth straight win.
The Spurs, as has been the case lately, got out on a quick run, scoring early and often. Kawhi Leonard knocked down a jumper and two straight three-pointers for an early 8-0 run.
While the Spurs were scoring at a blistering pace, the Wizards shot an anemic 2-for-12 from the field midway through the first quarter and finished the quarter shooting at a 30 percent clip to the Spurs’ 52 percent.
“We couldn’t make a shot. We moved the ball. We had nobody,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “We stayed with it, kept fighting, kept playing, tried to continue to move it along and get somebody going.”
“All of a sudden, we’re going to play hero. We can’t do that. We don’t have a hero here. We got to play with five guys,” Wittman continued.
Tiago Splitter got going in the second quarter, with his ninth and tenth points giving the Spurs a 10-point advantage, which they would end the half with.
While the Spurs had a sizable lead through most of the first three quarters, a Martell Webster jumper brought the Wizards the closest they would get all game, with a 60-57 deficit with just over three minutes remaining in the third.
Manu Ginobili answered with two points of his own, which jumpstarted a Spurs 10-0 rally to end the quarter. The start of the fourth quarter saw the Spurs extend their run to 16 straight points before the Wizards finally found the bottom of the basket via a Webster field goal.
The Spurs never let up until the 5:19 mark signified a 28-7 run with Boris Diaw scoring his 15th point.
“When you have a team like that, not just the first group, but the second group plays the exact same way and the third group plays the same way,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “It’s really tough when you have a team like that who is capable of just moving the ball, passing the ball, cutting every second and not getting tired on top of that, that’s a great team.”
A lineup including Patty Mills, Ginobili and Marco Belinelli could be one to watch as that trio lead the Spurs on their run through the end of the third and start of the fourth.
“The unit that started the third quarter was beginning to wind down on energy,” Ginobili said. “We talked about it with Pop and he asked us to bring it back up, play with more emotion, push the ball and be more aggressive. It really worked out in the end.”
The Spurs had six players in double figures, led by Tony Parker’s 16 points. Danny Green, who had been hot through the Spurs’ road games in New York and Philadelphia, cooled off in warmer climates, going 0-3 for 0 points.
Tim Duncan also continues to struggle. Against the Wizards, he made just one of twelve shots for two points. Luckily for the Spurs, it’s still early and they’re getting scoring help from other players.
“I don’t worry about Tim, he’ll be fine,” Parker said. “He’s taking great shots and he needs to keep shooting. He’s wide open when they trap me on the pick-and-rolls so he needs to keep shooting.”
Webster led the Wizards with 21 points off the bench.
The Spurs are now 8-1 (4-0 at home) and are sitting at first place in the Western Conference. They’ll be back on the road on Friday for an 8 p.m. CST tip against the winless Utah Jazz.