This game was billed as a potential Western Conference Finals preview, matching up a pair of teams with legitimate championship aspirations this season.
After it was over, one team was looking title-worthy, while another looked worthy of a spot in the draft lottery.
Behind Tony Parker’s 31 points and seven assists, the San Antonio Spurs marched into Staples Center and obliterated the L.A. Clippers 116-90 Thursday night.
The Clippers shot a terrible 42 percent from the floor and 31 percent (5-16) from three-point range on their way to their first loss in the last five games. It was San Antonio’s fifth-consecutive win.
Matt Barnes led the Clippers with 18 points off-the-bench.
In the preview, I highlighted the Parker-Chris Paul matchup as the marquee feature of this game, but only Parker decided to show up.
Paul, coming off a 20-point, 15-assist performance that earned him the All-Star Game’s MVP award on Sunday, shot just 1-6 from the field and scored four points to go along with three assists in 27 minutes.
Even if the Clippers had gotten Paul’s normal stellar offensive effort, it may not have mattered.
They couldn’t to anything at all to stop San Antonio’s offensive attack, as the Spurs shot a blistering 58 percent from the floor and made eight of their 17 attempts from deep.
The Spurs never once trailed in the game, and outscored L.A. 34-21 in both the first and third quarters, respectively. The Clippers never really had a chance.
It was the first win in three meetings this season for the Spurs, who improved to an amazing 22-10 on the road, and to 44-12 overall, good for the best record in the Western Conference.
The loss dropped the Clips to 39-18, still a game-and-a-half ahead of Memphis for third in the conference. They’re four-and-a-half behind the Spurs for the top spot, and trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by a game-and-a-half.
The 26-point beatdown was L.A.’s worst margin of defeat so far this season.
San Antonio improved to 6-1 so far on their nine-game annual “rodeo road trip”, while the Clippers fell to 21-6 as the tenants of Staples Center.
Blake Griffin scored 17 points, 13 of which came in the first half. San Antonio jumped out to a 17-4 lead at the very beginning of the game, and the Clippers never seriously threatened from there.
From here, the Spurs will face the Warriors in Oakland Friday night, while the Clippers will take on the Jazz at home on Saturday.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.