The Spurs were able to beat the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Thank goodness, right? San Antonio previously lost to the Denver Nuggets, a team that they had dominated in past match ups. Instead, a sloppy game on Sunday gave them their third loss at home for the season. Despite being outscored by the Knicks in the fourth quarter last night the Spurs were able to fend them off and send New York to their sixth loss in nine games and a 2-5 record since Carmelo Anthony returned and joined Jeremy Lin back in the lineup.
San Antonio owned the Knicks in the first half of the game; they outscored them by five points in the first and 12 in the second quarter. Their lowest quarter total in the game was 25 (and that was in the fourth quarter). Tony Parker posted his second strong performance in a row. On Sunday he scored 25 points and dished out seven assists. Last night, he scored 32 points and six assists and was able to shut down Jeremy Lin and the Knicks team as a whole.
The Spurs should feel confident after this win; not only was Ginobili back for his second game and playing well but Parker was on fire from the field and Ginobili and Tim Duncan both scored 17 points. Gary Neal also contributed 12 points in the starting lineup (Ginobili is working his way back in after coming back from another injury). The Spurs also had a solid offensive effort from Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair and Kawhi Leonard, all of whom had 10 points. The Spurs were able to hold off the Knicks in the fourth quarter despite Gregg Popovich not being in the game; he was ejected at the end of the third quarter for arguing with the officials.
What did this game show us? This game showed us that when the Spurs have seven players who are aggressive and score in double figures, they win. Also, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Spurs are 5-0 this season when Tony Parker scores 30+ points (that record is actually 14-15 dating back to March 2009 as well). When Tony Parker is able to take over a game (and give out assists to get his teammates involved), the Spurs are hard to defend. Not many other point guards are going to be able to guard Tony Parker. If you double-team him, he can kick the ball out to any other guy on the floor that is capable of scoring double figures.
It seems the Spurs got payback on the “Linsanity” bandwagon; a news story that seemed to overshadow the Spurs during their eleven game winning streak. Amare Stoudemire also said that the Spurs don’t have “the talent” that the Knicks do. To me, I think that is laughable. As soon as the Knicks put their all-star player (Anthony) back in, they start losing. Their point guard that seemed to rise to fame quickly has fizzled out; yeah he had 20 points and four assists against the Spurs but those numbers aren’t going to compete with elite, veteran point guards such as Parker and Derrick Rose. But the Spurs should rest easy that they were able to fend off a strong Eastern conference team do so easily. They limited the Knicks to 42% from the floor while they shot 54%. The Spurs also have one of the strongest benches in the league as well; the fact that their bench players are able to score double figures against a decent team shows their depth.
The Spurs will face the L.A. Clippers on Friday for the third time this season and attempt to remain perfect against their strong Western conference competitor; the first time the two teams met, in the Spurs’ second game of the season, the Spurs beat the Clippers by 25 points. Before the All-Star break, the Spurs were also able to hold off the Clippers in overtime (and Tony Parker had 30 points, ironically). If San Antonio is able to sweep the regular season series with the Clippers, they should feel very confident if they face them in the playoffs. With the way Parker has played in the past couple of games, I expect the Spurs to do very well tomorrow against the Clippers, especially since the game is on their home court where they are 14-3 this season.
About the Author
Written by Chelsea Curto
Chelsea is a college senior who is majoring in art history and minoring in communications. She plans to become a sports broadcaster. She is a former Division 1 athlete who rowed for a year and a half in college. She enjoys any and all sports, especially basketball. She plans to pursue her education in communication at the graduate school level. Follow her on Twitter: @chelseacurto