The San Antonio Spurs got home from Salt Lake City at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. They were missing Tony Parker and Danny Green.
But not even that was an excuse for their poor performance at home for the second straight game.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points, but the Spurs fell 116-92 to the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT&T Center on Saturday for the second consecutive defeat inside the friendly confines.
Kawhi Leonard added a season-low 14, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field. Pau Gasol added 11 for San Antonio, who will now get three days off before their next game.
”We feel like we gave two away,” Leonard said, ”but we’ve just got to learn from our mistakes. Teams that are good learn from their failures.”
San Antonio went up 8-0 early, leading Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers to take a timeout. His team responded with a 10-0 run and never looked back. The Clippers led 73-55 at halftime, the most points scored in a half against the Spurs since 2011 and the most in the Gregg Popovich era.
“We know there’s a enormous margin for improvement,” Spurs guard Manu Gnobili said. “So we’re going to go at that and fight to get as good as we can get.”
The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin’s 28 points, with 26 coming in the first half. Jamal Crawford added 16 and J.J. Redick chipped in 14 for Los Angeles (5-1), who have won five of six games to open the season.
Los Angeles shot 51.6 percent from the field and handed the Spurs their third worst loss in the Popovich era.
”Our offense was clicking so well I got out in transition, got some easy ones there,” Griffin said. ”But I also got some easy looks from C.P. and (DeAndre Jordan) rolling. It’s nice to have those easy looks go down and that kind of builds your confidence.”
Things getting Green-er: Popovich hinted Danny Green is closer to returning prior to the game, prompting speculation he could return to action as soon as next week. Green has not played a game after re-aggrivating a quad injury.
Up next: The Spurs are now 5-2 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday when they welcome James Harden and the Houston Rockets to the AT&T Center at 8:30 p.m.