San Antonio/Los Angeles
Game 3 Recap
By Mike Moore
May 20, 2012
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Game 3
Spurs 96, Clippers 86
What did we see?
The Spurs looking weak and terrible for 15 minutes, and then turn it around and take control of the game.
San Antonio’s worst fears were realized at the beginning of Game 3, when their shots just would not fall and the Clippers’ offense out muscled the silver and black defense. DeAndre Jordan was too big and strong for Tim Duncan to contain, Chris Paul was getting open looks, and Blake Griffin was looking as good as he has ever looked. And then that all ended.
Slowly throughout the second quarter, the Spurs chipped away at the 24-point hole they had found themselves in, getting within 7 and ending the half down by 10. And smiling. Coach Pop, Tony, and Tim were caught cracking jokes with about a minute to play in the first half, totally at ease with being behind. In the third quarter, the Spurs remembered who they are, and eviscerated the Clippers, going on a 24-0 run and never looking back. Ball movement improved, they spread the floor, and their shots finally started falling. The Clippers, seemingly upset by their defensive failures, started committing turnovers and taking too-tough shots. They scored only 8 points in the third quarter, and the fourth was almost a formality as the Spurs maintained a comfortable lead of 10 and never let Los Angeles any closer to a Game 3 victory, as they won their 17th straight game.
What did we learn?
San Antonio couldn’t care less what you are doing.
It may seem strange that a coach, Coach Poppovich of all people, would be laughing and joking while his team is down, on the road, in a playoff game. It belies an interesting truth, that the Spurs don’t give two shits what the other team is doing, because they know how good they are, and they know that if they are performing at their best, nobody will beat them. San Antonio played some ugly basketball in the first half, and they knew it. They also knew that if they could get back to their level of play, which they were doing starting midway through the 2nd, they would win. And win they did.
The big questions…
Are the Spurs getting too relaxed in the postseason?
In the name of health and long-term “franchise player” status, should Vinny Del Negro take a page from Coach Pop’s book and sit Chris Paul for Game 4?