What you missed while thinking, “They needed to do a study for that? They should have just given me the money and I would have told them, it’s obvious.”
1) San Antonio turns it up in the fourth quarter, pull away for a comfortable win against Clippers to go 33-0 at home. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: The Spurs played fairly well but let their opponent hang around for three quarters, then when it entered the final frame they stepped up their defensive pressure, took their execution to another level, hit their shots, and pulled away for a comfortable win.
Tuesday’s victim was the Los Angeles Clippers, who were down just one entering the fourth quarter. The Spurs opened the fourth with an 11-2 run, soon enough started another 15-2 run, and it was all over for the Clippers except the bus ride past the horse stalls behind the AT&T Center. Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 17, but it was the Spurs bench dramatically outplaying the still-struggling Clippers bench that was the story. Next up for San Antonio are two home games — Portland and Golden State. The Clippers story remains the same: They need to get Blake Griffin back to challenge elite teams.
2) Tim Duncan passes John Havlicek for 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Just a few days ago, Celtics legend John Havlicek was 13th on the All-Time scoring list. Then LeBron James passed him. Wednesday it was Tim Duncan’s turn — the Spurs legend is now 14th all-time in scoring, while Havlicek is 15th.
3) Nobody can stop Bojan Bogdanovic. For a night, anyway. Bogdanovic has quietly had an okay season for the Nets, averaging 10.5 points a game but not being terribly efficient (43.8 percent shooting). But for a night, the Sixers had no answers — Bogdanovic was getting to the rim (9-of-12 there), he was hitting threes (4-of-9), and it seems every shot he took was going in on his way to 44 points on 27 shots.
4) Celtics now 0-2 with Jae Crowder out, fall to Indiana. Going up against Paul George — who had a fantastic third quarter and finished the night with 25 points and seven assists — Boston really missed Jae Crowder. Of course, Boston hurt their own cause shooting 38.3 percent overall and 25% from three, plus they had a few ugly turnovers. That’s two losses in a row for Boston, who is still the three seed but is now tied with Miami for that spot, with the Hawks just one game back. Boston is about to slide down the board.
By the way, Monta Ellis can still do Monta Ellis things.