SAN ANTONIO (Sports Network) – Unbeaten in more than five weeks, the San Antonio Spurs don’t appear to be slowing down or wearing out.
Their 16th win in a row has them one step closer to the Western Conference Finals.
Tony Parker had 22 points, Tim Duncan scored 18 and the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-88 Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in their semifinal series.
Game 3 is Saturday afternoon in LA.
The Spurs were coming off a 108-92 win on Tuesday in which they tied a team playoff record with 13 three-pointers and never trailed in the second half.
Their last deficit in Game 2 was 10-9 and they shot better than 53 percent as a team.
“We just couldn’t keep up with that type of pace scoring-wise,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. “That’s what they do — they spread you out and shoot it.”
The Spurs’ 16-game winning streak dates back to April 12 and includes a sweep of the Utah Jazz in the first round.
Parker, slashing and driving hard on his 30th birthday, was 8-of-19 from the floor and had five assists and five rebounds.
Parker took his biggest shot with about three minutes left in the game when Blake Griffin, getting the ball first, knocked him across the face under the basket to draw a flagrant foul.
“I thought Tony played very aggressively and really focused full well knowing he was going to get hit and get [double-teamed],” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. “He welcomed it and played very hard.”
Boris Diaw added 16 points for top-seeded San Antonio, Danny Green scored 13 and Manu Ginobili had 10 off the bench, all in the first half.
Griffin led the fifth-seeded Clippers with 20 points, Randy Foye scored 11 and Chris Paul had just 10 with five assists.
LA shot almost 50 percent, but trailed by as many as 19.
A four-point Spurs lead at halftime turned into a 16-point bulge in about six minutes. Green hit back-to-back three-pointers during a 19-7 run that made it 65-49.
The Clippers halved that deficit, but trailed 78-67 entering the fourth and were never closer than nine the rest of the way. Now, they’re faced with the task of winning four of five games against the hottest team in the NBA.
“We have to regroup, get our energy back up and execute a little better,” said Del Negro.
Ginobili’s 3 gave the Spurs a 23-10 lead at the end of a 14-0 run in the first quarter. The advantage reached 15, but LA closed the quarter on a 9-2 burst to pull within 29-21 entering the second.
The Clippers got within a point but could never take the lead before halftime despite shooting nearly 55 percent in the second quarter. Duncan had 14 points in the half, Ginobili added 10 off the bench and Griffin scored 11 to lead LA.
The Clippers had 18 turnovers and were out-rebounded 35-32…The Spurs ended with a 50-18 advantage on points in the paint and a 15-9 edge in fastbreak points. They shot 10-of-25 from three-point range.
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