The San Antonio Spurs came home after stealing Game 2 from the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime on Wednesday, looking to grab a 2-1 series lead.
Without any troubles, the Spurs took charge to take a 2-1 lead in the series, demolishing the Clippers, 100-73.
It was a wire-to-wire victory, as the Spurs started off strong, taking an early 11-2 lead. Even though the Clippers made small runs in the first half to close the gap, the Spurs remained in control and owned an eight-point halftime lead.
The third quarter was the difference maker tonight. Kawhi Leonard scored 13 of his playoff career-high 32 points in the third to push the Spurs lead to 21, 70-49, heading to the fourth stanza. On the night he was rewarded the Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard played a sensation game, hitting 13 of his 18 attempts from the field and adding on four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks to his total.
In the fourth period, Patty Mills and Danny Green hit two three-pointers to put a nail in the Clippers’ coffin as the Spurs cruised their way to a 27-point shellacking.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili combined for a total of 12 points, but the Spurs were still able to dismantle the Clippers. That’s the way things work with San Antonio. Their big three does not need to have huge scoring outputs for them to win. Each night, it’s someone different, and tonight it was Kawhi Leonard.
Boris Diaw plugged in 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists off the bench, while Danny Green posted 11 points, six rebounds, and three steals. The Spurs destroyed the Clippers in almost every facet of the game. They out-rebounded Los Angeles, 47-38, and shot 52.6 percent from the field compared to only 34.1 percent for the Clips. In fact, the 34.1 percent for L.A. was a playoff franchise-low, as well as their total of 73 points.
The Clippers had 14 team assists, as the Spurs had 25 on 40 baskets. Also, the Spurs turned 14 Clipper miscues into 25 points.
Chris Paul had a brutal game, scoring just seven points on 3 of 11 shooting to go along with six turnovers. Jamal Crawford was subpar, too, putting in five points on 1 for 11 shooting. Blake Griffin led the way with his 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
Consistency has been a reoccurring theme for the Clippers all season long, and after a flawless Game 1, they have been highly inconsistent. The Clippers had 49 points through three quarters when earlier tonight, the Houston Rockets had 42 points in the first quarter alone.
Luckily for the Clippers, they will get a fresh, new start in Game 4 to try and even up the series at two apiece. However, they will have to be resilient enough to steal one at the AT&T Center.
Game 4 will be on Sunday at 3:30 pm EST in San Antonio.