Duncan dominates as Spurs win Game 1 against Clippers
May 17, 2012, 12:18 am TWN
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Tim Duncan finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds as San Antonio cruised past the Los Angeles Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday, extending the Spurs' win streak to 15 games.
San Antonio tied a franchise playoff record with 13 three-pointers, opening up a 19-point lead in the third quarter to win the first game of their best-of-seven series.
“I was just rolling early on and my teammates were finding me,” Duncan said. “We wanted to attack the basket as much as possible, tried to take some of their aggressiveness away,” and get to the free-throw line,” said Duncan, who helped his team win their 15th consecutive game going back to the regular season action.
“It's the playoffs, it's going to be physical. Especially with the series they just got out of.”
Game 2 will be in San Antonio on Thursday.
Manu Ginobili scored 22 points for the well-rested Spurs, who never trailed in the second half in front of a crowd of 18,581 at the AT&T Center arena.
Eric Bledsoe had a team-high 23 points for the Clippers who were just two days removed from a game seven victory on the road in Memphis.
Caron Butler and Blake Griffin each had 15 points, while Chris Paul finished with just six points on three-of-13 shooting.
Clippers forward Kenyon Martin dismissed the notion that the team might be tired from their seven-game series against the Grizzlies while the Spurs had a week between the first and second round series to get ready.
“There are no excuses. We got to play the game,” said Martin. “Fatigue is not an issue, we just got beat today.”
San Antonio look primed for another title run as their win streak dates back to the regular season and includes an opening-round sweep of the Utah Jazz.
There were 12 lead changes in a tight opening half Tuesday before the Spurs broke the game open in the third.
San Antonio hit 13-of-25 from three-point range and dominated, 47-34, in rebounding.
Spurs guard Tony Parker had a rare off night, making just one field goal, but it didn't seem to matter because others picked up the slack.
Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have now experienced 181 playoff games together, breaking the record for a player/coach tandem held by Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.