Duncan dominates as Spurs win game one of NBA Western Conference semis
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 one of the Western Conference semi-finals 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 knew it would be a physical game. We wanted to attack the basket as much as possible and get to the free-throw line.”
Game two 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.