Coming into Friday’s contest between the San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks, health had been a concern for both teams as the Spurs would be without Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tiago Splliter due to injuries, while the Hawks would be without five of their players due to injuries, most notably Al Horford.
As the Spurs would come out cruising in the first half, the Hawks would suffer another injury, as point guard Jeff Teague left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and would not return in the contest. With only Paul Millsap available as their prime offensive option (15 points on 17 shot attempts), the Spurs’ defense swarmed the Hawks while their offense shot 50% from the field on their way to a 105-74 blow-out in Atlanta.
Boris Diaw led the Spurs with 21 points in two quarters (second and third) on 8-of-10 shooting, while Diaw also gathered five rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block in just 22 minutes. Patty Mills provided the offensive spark from the outside lighting up the 3-point line as he connected on 6-of-8 three pointers for 18 points off the bench. Mills was responsible for more than half of the team’s 3-pointers. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker only had to play in three quarters and had their chance to rest in the fourth, as Duncan finished with 17 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks. Parker ended the night with 11 points and seven assists.
By the fourth quarter, the Spurs were already ahead by 30 points as every player who dressed received playing time and scored in the game, including the newest 10-day contract signee Othyus Jeffers, who made his only shot attempt of the night in the paint.
Impressive Shot Charts
Boris Diaw – Take a look at Diaw’s shot chart on the night. As you can see, most of his baskets came from inside the paint where he was posting his opponents and cutting to the basket for lay-ups. He also had his outside shots connecting as he nailed a buzzer-beater off the glass at the end of the third quarter.
Patty Mills – As mentioned above, take a look at Mills’ shot chart (left) and then the teams shot chart (right).
· Spurs’ bench ready for their call – Though their bench has been trimmed down with Cory Joseph in the starting unit, the Spurs’ bench outscored the Hawks’ bench 62-32 on the night, with Manu Ginobili only scoring three points. Ginobili collected six assists however.
· Spurs’ defense shines – Though it was against an injury-ravaged Hawks team, the Spurs’ team defense was impressive by holding the Hawks to less than 23 points in all four quarters, forcing Atlanta into 20 turnovers, and limiting the Hawks to 38% shooting from the floor (76 shot attempts for 79 points).
· Turnovers an issue, but not on this night – Normally when the Spurs give up 22 turnovers in a game, the result might be a bit different than Friday’s score. However, since the Hawks weren’t at full strength and struggled to score even when the Spurs turned the ball over, the Spurs were able to consistently hold their large lead despite their turnover woes.
Where San Antonio Stands
· Regular Season: 33-10
· Road Record: 16-3
· Wins by 10 or more points: 18
· Vs. Opponents with +.500 records: 14-9
· Vs. the Eastern Conference: 13-2
· January Offensive Rating: 112.0 points per 100 possessions (3rd)
· January Defensive Rating: 100.3 points per 100 possessions (5th)
· January Net Rating: +11.7 (1st)
(All stats used via NBA.com/Stats)