SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Tony Parker scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Los Angeles Clippers 115-107 on Friday night to remain undefeated at home.
San Antonio leads the league in several defensive categories, but offense dominated the first matchup between the teams since the Clippers eliminated the then-defending champions in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
San Antonio opened the final quarter on an 11-0 run, beginning with Patty Mills‘ layup on the fifth pass of the possession after the Spurs passed up three 3-pointers. Parker’s 3-pointer closed the run and gave San Antonio a 96-88 lead with 9:17 remaining.
The Spurs then resumed intentionally fouling Jordan, and it disrupted their offense as much as it limited the Clippers.
San Antonio would not score until Parker hit another 3-pointer with 6:08 remaining, but the Spurs were able to maintain a 99-93 advantage. Parker also drained a 15-footer with 1:19 remaining and ran down a long rebound off Manu Ginobili‘s miss with 53.9 seconds.
San Antonio entered the game holding opponents to 88.2 points, but the Clippers matched that in taking an 88-85 lead entering the fourth.
The Clippers continually used screens to put a smaller defender on Griffin, and the 6-foot-10 forward took advantage by shooting over Parker, Ginobili, Green and other wings. Griffin was 10-for-19 shooting, including going 4 for 6 in scoring 10 points in the opening quarter.
The Clippers were physical defensively, throwing the Spurs’ multi-pass offense off rhythm early.
The Spurs matched the aggression in the second quarter, crashing the boards. Mills missed a 3-pointer, Boris Diaw soared over Jamal Crawford for the rebound, tip-toed near the baseline and flung a pass to Green, who drained a 3-pointer. On the next possession, Duncan charged down the center of the lane to tip in a miss and earn a three-point play.
Clippers: Griffin had 13 points in the first half. It was the 22nd time he has scored in double figures in the first half, which leads the league. … The Clippers will play just four games at home this month, which is the least in a single month in franchise history since playing three games in January 1992.
Spurs: The Spurs have won nine games by 20-plus points, which is the most in the league this season. Oklahoma City is second with five wins of 20-plus. … Parker became incensed early in the third quarter when he was knocked to the court on a drive and no foul was called by official Ed Malloy. After driving into the lane and drawing a foul by Jordan on the next possession, he rose and flung an arm in anger. He then spoke to Malloy for about 15 seconds before taking his free throws.