Spurs Better Finish Off Clippers In Game 6 Or Series Back To L.A.
True, the defending San Antonio Clippers already have won twice at the L.A. Clippers in their first-round Western Conference playoff series, but can you really expect such a good team like the Clips to lose three times at home in one series? Probably not, so that makes Thursday night’s home game nearly a must-win for San Antonio to finish this series and advance to face the Houston Rockets. The Spurs are 5.5-point favorites on BetOnline. The good news for Spurs backers: Under Gregg Popovich, they are 12-1 all-time when leading an NBA playoff series. The one loss? 2013 finals vs. Miami when San Antonio blew Game 6.
San Antonio took a thrilling Game 5 111-107 thanks to a basket interference call with under five seconds left on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan that would have given L.A. the lead. It was clearly the right call and Jordan admitted it was a “dumb play.”
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan recorded his third 20/10 outing in five games. He became the oldest player in NBA history to record three 20/10 games in a single series with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard posted 18 points and 9 rebounds. Three Spurs scored double-figures from the bench, which outscored the Clippers bench 48-17. Having shot an atrocious 31 percent on 3-pointers over the first four games, the Spurs finally rediscovered their touch to hit on 11 of 23 attempts from long range. Ten of those 3s came off the bench, including four by Patty Mills and two apiece from Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli. Duncan, who turned 39 on Saturday, is now averaging 17.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.0 blocks while shooting 55 percent in the series.
Clippers Misfire From 3
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points and 14 rebounds but missed two free throws with 39 seconds to play. Los Angeles missed 16 free throws overall and went 1 for 14 on 3-pointers while getting pushed to the brink. That was their lowest 3-point percentage in a playoff game in franchise history in which they attempted more than five shots from downtown. Guard J.J. Redick failed to attempt a three-pointer in over 41 minutes of playing time in Game 5 against San Antonio on Apr. 28. This was the first instance of Redick’s career (regular and postseason) in which he played more than 25 minutes.
The third quarter featured 35 combined free throws. The Spurs intentionally fouled Jordan eight times in the middle quarters. San Antonio made a decisive 10-4 surge in the final minutes aided by a technical foul on Chris Paul, who had 19 points, 10 assists. five rebounds and no turnovers. 8. Paul is one of only five players since 1985-86 to record these totals or higher in each category without committing a turnover and the only player in that span to do so on more than one occasion.
San Antonio 13-4 in games where they can close out a playoff series at home under Gregg Popovich since 1997. The Spurs are 14-4 at home in elimination games during the Duncovich era.
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