SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Tim Duncan finished with 26 points and 10rebounds as San Antonio cruised past the Los Angeles Clippers108-92 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday,extending the Spurs' win streak to 15 games. San Antonio tied a franchise playoff record with 13 three-pointers,opening up a 19-point lead in the third quarter to win the firstgame of their best-of-seven series. I was just rolling early on and my teammates were finding me, Duncan said. We wanted to attack the basket as much as possible,tried to take some of their aggressiveness away, and get to thefree-throw line, said Duncan, who helped his team win their 15thconsecutive game going back to the regular season action. It's the playoffs, it's going to be physical. |
Especially with theseries they just got out of. Game 2 will be in San Antonio on Thursday. Manu Ginobili scored 22 points for the well-rested Spurs, who nevertrailed in the second half in front of a crowd of 18,581 at theAT&T Center arena. Eric Bledsoe had a team-high 23 points for the Clippers who werejust two days removed from a game seven victory on the road inMemphis. Caron Butler and Blake Griffin each had 15 points, while Chris Paulfinished with just six points on three-of-13 shooting.
Clippers forward Kenyon Martin dismissed the notion that the teammight be tired from their seven-game series against the Grizzlieswhile the Spurs had a week between the first and second roundseries to get ready. There are no excuses. We got to play the game, said Martin. Fatigue is not an issue, we just got beat today. San Antonio look primed for another title run as their win streakdates back to the regular season and includes an opening-roundsweep of the Utah Jazz.
There were 12 lead changes in a tight opening half Tuesday beforethe Spurs broke the game open in the third. San Antonio hit 13-of-25 from three-point range and dominated,47-34, in rebounding. Spurs guard Tony Parker had a rare off night, making just one fieldgoal, but it didn't seem to matter because others picked up theslack. Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have now experienced 181playoff games together, breaking the record for a player/coachtandem held by Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.
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