In the midst of a slump, the Clippers arrived in San Antonio looking to achieve some sense of stability — a win would get them to .500 and would build off of the two contests they won prior to the recent loss in New Orleans. While the game was competitive, the Clippers’ mid-season volatility continues with their 101-94 loss against the Spurs.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as both teams demonstrated competency on both ends of the floor. The Spurs began to take command of the game, however, as the second quarter progressed. Isaiah Hartenstein’s entry into the game did provide a burst of energy, but Dejounte Murray’s activity on offense helped blunt the Clipper’s surge. His stat lines frequently flirt with triple-doubles (he had 18 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds this game), demonstrating just how well-rounded he is as a point guard.
The Spurs’ lead grew to as much as 16, but a 9-2 run by the Clippers cut the lead to nine at halftime, with some credit having to go to Hartenstein’s spark off the bench.
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The Clippers carried their momentum into the third quarter, even as foul trouble threatened to stop them in their tracks. They battled back until they finally closed the gap and grabbed the lead, just two minutes into the fourth quarter. The two players that impacted the game during that run were Amir Coffey and Serge Ibaka — Coffey ended the game with 20 points, and Ibaka posted a double-double with two blocks to add.
As the game entered the clutch, however, the Clippers were unable to convert on the offensive end and, paired with ill-timed turnovers, greatly contributed to the Spurs victory. After the loss in New Orleans, this was not the result the team was hoping for on the road, but there is still a long season ahead and more time for recent returners to get back into a rhythm.