Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/13

Game 1: Sunday, December 13th
Spurs115Final
Clippers90
Game 2: Monday, December 21st
Clippers87Final
Spurs103
Game 3: Saturday, February 6th
Spurs98Final
Clippers81
Game 4: Saturday, March 13th
Clippers88Final
Spurs118

Spurs 115

(12-9, 2-5 away)

Clippers 90

(9-13, 6-8 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    9:30 PM ET, December 13, 2009

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 39 27 22 27115
    LAC 23 33 19 1590

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: M. Ginobili 17 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Los Angeles: A. Thornton 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Duncan spends fourth quarter on bench as Spurs coast past Clippers

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich is rationing Tim Duncan's minutes on a regular basis so that he'll be fresh for the postseason. The solid play of the Spurs' backups has made that possible.

    A good example was Sunday night, when Duncan sat out the fourth quarter and the Spurs pulled away to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-90.

    San Antonio came in averaging the most points (42.2) and rebounds (17.0) from its reserves. In this one, the Spurs' backups outscored the Clippers' reserves 57-32 and outrebounded them 20-11.

    "That's been key for us," said newcomer Richard Jefferson, the only player to start all 21 games for the Spurs. "As long as I've been in the league, San Antonio's always had a quality bench. So it's something that this team takes pride in. And now with the young guys and the development of guys like George Hill and Roger Mason, it's only going to make us better."

    Another pleasant addition to the mix had been DeJuan Blair, who came in leading all rookies with a field-goal percentage of 59.3, made 7 of 9 shots and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

    "He's been improving more and more, trying to understand the game and be a big part of what we do, and we're going to need that energy from him," Duncan said. "He's staying within himself, which is the best part of it. He's not trying to do anything special. He's just playing hard and making the plays we expect him to make."

    Duncan led San Antonio with 21 points. He left the floor with 1:48 left in the third quarter after he was accidentally elbowed in the right ear by teammate Matt Bonner.

    "I try to stay away from Matty. The closer I am to Matty, the more I get hurt," Duncan said. "He's hit me more than one time, and I don't think he's ever been apologetic."

    As things turned out, the Spurs didn't need the two-time MVP and 11-time All-Star down the stretch. They put the game away with a 16-0 run that stretched a 12-point margin to 107-79 with 7:10 to play.

    "Obviously, with that big guy on the court, we're a much better team," Jefferson said. "We had a couple of games early in the season that we were able to win when Tim and Tony Parker were hurt, so we're getting used to playing with each other and we're maximizing the talent we have on the court."

    Jefferson and Manu Ginobili each had 17 points for the Spurs, who shot 57.3 percent, have won three straight and eight of 11. They have beaten the Clippers 13 straight times since March 3, 2006, and have won 21 of the last 23 meetings. Michael Finley missed his fourth straight game because of a sprained left ankle.

    Point guard Baron Davis, plagued by an upset stomach that prevented him from practicing on Saturday, came off the bench for the first time this season and led the Clippers with 20 points in 30 minutes.

    "I've been a little sick, and I was getting a little tired and a little dizzy," Davis said. "But when you are out on the court, you definitely need to do something out there."

    Los Angeles used its fifth different starting lineup. Sebastian Telfair made his first start for the club and got only two points in 20 minutes -- the only Clippers starter who did not score in double figures.

    Spurs shooting guard Keith Bogans had an embarrassing sequence early in the second quarter -- shooting an airball from 3-point range and then tipping the ball into the wrong basket seconds later while trying to rebound a missed 3-point attempt by Davis.

    The accidental basket was credited to Ricky Davis -- the only points by the Clippers' backups other than by Baron Davis, until Rasual Butler's 18-footer with 11:23 left in the game.

    Game notes


    The only seasons in which Davis started every game he played in were the three in which he played all 82 (2000-01, 2001-02 and 2007-08). Kaman and Marcus Camby are now the only players to start every game this season for the Clippers. ... Popovich needs two more victories to become the 17th NBA coach with at least 700 regular-season wins and the third to reach that total with one team, along with Jerry Sloan (Utah) and Red Auerbach (Boston).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SA
    LAC
    Points 115 90
    FGM-FGA 43-75 (.573) 38-86 (.442)
    3PM-3PA 11-20 (.550) 4-13 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 18-26 (.692) 10-15 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-37 14-38
    Assists 23 20
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 5 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 20 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 31 2

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Los Angeles
    Manu Ginobili Ginobili
    Points: 17
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Al Thornton Thornton
    Points: 16
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2