Spurs depth on display in win vs. Clippers
(The Sports Xchange) - The understood goal of any second unit in the NBA is to do all it can to hold its ground while its team's starters get time to rest. So when the reserves add to a lead or flip the flow of the game from one team to another, it's an unexpected bonus.
San Antonio's bench and defense were all the difference Tuesday as the Spurs' reserves helped turn a close game into a rout in the fourth quarter and walloped the Los Angeles Clippers 108-87 Tuesday night.
Kawhi Leonard poured in 20 points to lead five San Antonio players in double figures. But the Spurs (57-10) led by just a point heading to the final quarter before running away from Los Angeles in the first four minutes of the period and never looking back.
Reserve David West had all eight of his points in that fourth-quarter run, and reserve Patty Mills had seven in that stretch. The Spurs eventually expanded their lead to 99-79 and wound up winning by 21.
"They turned up the intensity and the pressure a little bit and put a 37-point fourth quarter on us," the Clippers' Chris Paul said. "There are a lot of things that happened over the course of the game for that separation to happen."
The victory was San Antonio's 33rd straight at home to open the season and extended the club's home-game regular-season win streak to a franchise-best 42 games, dating back to a loss to Cleveland last March. The Spurs' home streak the third-longest in NBA history, behind Chicago's 44-game regular-season run in 1995-96 and the continuing streak by Golden State (49 games).
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points for the Spurs, while Mills had 15. Manu Ginobili hit for 13 points, and Danny Green scored 12 on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
"Our guys competed and we got a big-time spark off the bench," Aldridge said. "David (West) was huge and Patty (Mills) brought a lot of juice and energy for us. They definitely carried us down the stretch."
Chris Paul led the Clippers with 22 points and eight assists. DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Jeff Green and J.J. Redick scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Continued...