On Tuesday night, it was a battle between the two first place teams- the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers. It was the Clippers that came up short and lost 103-113 at home. Before Tuesday night’s game, the Clippers and Spurs have met up before, each taking a win, but the Spurs ended up breaking the tie-breaker. The Clippers record now is 37-19, while the Spurs are 40-15; they have the third best winning record in the NBA.
San Antonio beat the Clippers without star player Tony Parker. Parker was on the bench due to various injuries which includes a groin strain and a bruised shin. Without the six-time All-Star, the Spurs were still able to take away the first win from the Clippers after the All-Star break, thanks to other star players such as guard Patty Mills and forward Tim Duncan.
According to the Associated Press, Mills scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth and Duncan who had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Duncan is also one of the team leaders when it comes to rebounds and blocks. Duncan told the Associated Press, “It was a big win for us especially on the road against a very good ball club.”
The Clippers were not able to come back in the fourth, but many of the players still shined. All-star and forward Blake Griffin played for 38 minutes, and scored 35 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. guard Jamal Crawford had 25 points and two assists. Center DeAndre Jordan had 18 rebounds and six blocks. All-Star Chris Paul ended the night playing 37 minutes and had 11 points, nine assists, and four steals.
The lost against San Antonio was the Clippers first loss at home after the All-Star break. Now they get ready to start a road trip. In their next 26 games, they plan on playing some teams that could possibly be in the playoffs. According to an article on Clippers.com Blake Griffin said,
“We have a pretty good schedule coming up here.”He added, “We play some good teams on the road and at home. Really, locking in and making sure we execute our game plan every game. You’re not always going to be great. You’re not always going to shoot great, but as long as we’re executing our game plan and doing the things that we need to do that will help.”
On their road trip they will play against Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans. But the most important game of this road series will be when they play the Memphis Grizzlies, whom is one of the Clippers rivals. Their rivalry began after both teams faced each other in the playoffs in the last two seasons. In 2012 the Clippers won the series with seven games while Memphis won the series in 2013, taking the series 4-2. The Clippers have a bittersweet taste in their mouth after they were winning the series 2-0, but then Memphis ended up taking it and winning the next four.
As of Feb. 1, the Clippers record is 4-4 and the Grizzlies are 5-3. Memphis won their last two games before the All-Star break which was against the Washington Wizards (92-89) and the Orlando Magic (86-81). They also won their first game back after the All-Star break against the New York Knicks (98-93).
Both teams have taken a win after playing each other in the beginning of the season. On Nov. 18, Memphis won 106-102 and Los Angeles won on Dec. 5 101-81. The game on Friday night will be the tie-breaker and will be the last time they face each other this season, unless somehow they both meet during the NBA playoffs.