SAN ANTONIO(AP) – The San Antonio Spurs have experienced their share of double-digit losses and poor shooting performances during their five playoffs runs that ended with an NBA title.
Their response to such an effort in Game 1 has the Spurs leading their first-round series, though they’re expecting the Los Angeles Clippers to come out with something to prove Sunday after suffering a blowout defeat in Game 3.READ MORE: Ticketholders To Filipino Festival FAHMfest Find Empty Parking Lot In San Pedro
San Antonio lost by at least 10 points a combined nine times during its championship runs in 1999, 2003, ’05, ’07 and last year, never letting a single loss – no matter how bad – derail its championship march.
Last Sunday, the Spurs shot 36.6 percent from the field and fell 107-92 to the Clippers. In typical fashion, they bounced back to win 111-107 in overtime behind 28 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Duncan before Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard scored a playoff career-high 32 in Friday’s 100-73 rout.
San Antonio shot 52.6 percent while holding Los Angeles to 34.1 from the floor.
“We’re not that good, and they’re not what you saw (Friday) without a doubt,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “We just had one heck of a night, and that’s all it is is one night. You throw it out and start all over again, and they’ll do the same thing.”
The Clippers will have to do just that if they hope to even this series. The only time Los Angeles has rallied from a series deficit in team history was last year when it came back after losing Game 1 to Golden State.
Chris Paul shot just 3 of 11 and scored seven points after netting 32 in Game 1 and 21 in Game 2. Los Angeles scored its fewest points in a playoff game in franchise history, and the 11 it put up in the third marked its fewest in any quarter this season.READ MORE: Lakers Lose To Warriors 121-114
“We beat them Game 1, they beat us Game 2,” Paul said. “They came out, did what we did in Game 1 against us here. Now we’ve got to show some resolve.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes Paul’s tough night was a credit to Danny Green’s defense. Paul averaged 24 points and shot 56 percent over his previous five against San Antonio, including the postseason.
Duncan also got the better of Blake Griffin, who had 14 points after averaging 27.7 and shooting 52 percent in his previous six against the Spurs, including this series.
“This game can’t dictate how we play in Game 4,” Griffin said. “We just gotta forget about it and move on. Games like this happen. Whether we lose by one or lose by two or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. It’s a loss. We gotta move on and get the next one.”
Los Angeles has had championship aspirations since Paul was acquired from New Orleans before the 2011-12 season, but it has yet to reach the Western Conference Finals.
The Clippers, who were swept by the Spurs in the second round in Paul’s first season in Los Angeles, now are in danger of falling into a bigger hole despite San Antonio guard Tony Parker not playing at full strength.
Parker aggravated a right Achilles injury in Game 2 and scored just six points while shooting 3 of 11 on Friday. He said he was able to move better in Game 3 and hopes the tightness will subside even more by tipoff, when he’s expecting the Clippers to come out with a chip on their shoulders.MORE NEWS: One Shot In Beverly Hills Robbery Outside Restaurant
Rivers will be looking for more out of J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, who combined for 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting. They combined for 27 points in each of the first two games.