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Sizzling Spurs look to grow series lead over Clippers

The Sports Network
5/19/2012 11:01:14 AM
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(Sports Network) - Unbeaten in more than five weeks, the sizzling San Antonio Spurs will shoot for a commanding 3-0 series lead when their Western Conference semifinals set against the Los Angeles Clippers shifts to Southern California.

The Spurs' have won 16 in a row dating back to the regular season and their latest victory has them one step closer to the West finals.

Tony Parker had 22 points, Tim Duncan scored 18 and San Antonio beat the Clippers 105-88 Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

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 run 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 in Game 2.

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, despite playing with a sprained right knee and tweaking his left hip, led the fifth-seeded Clippers with 20 points, Randy Foye scored 11 and Chris Paul, battling hip and groin problems, continues to struggle with just 10 with five assists.

LA shot almost 50 percent, but trailed by as many as 19.

"We have to regroup, get our energy back up and execute a little better," said Del Negro.

Saturday's game is a virtual must-win for the Clippers since no team in NBA history has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.

"The next game is our Game 7," Del Negro said. "We got to fight, we got to claw, we got to do whatever we can."

Game 4 in the series is set for Sunday night, a rare back-to-back postseason situation fueled by what's going on with the other tenants at Staples Center.

With both the Lakers and Clippers still in the NBA playoffs, along with the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL's Western Conference finals, the building has a full slate this weekend.

Friday night's Lakers win over Oklahoma City started things. The Clippers host San Antonio on Saturday afternoon with the Lake-show and Thunder to follow. The Kings will then try to eliminate Phoenix on Sunday afternoon before the Spurs and Clips tangle again Sunday night.

San Antonio took two of three from the Clippers during the regular season in 2011-12. The lone L.A. win came in the Alamo City on March 9 when the Clips halted 17-game skid in the Alamo City but Popovich rested Duncan, Parker and Ginobili in that contest.

These two clubs have never met in the postseason previously.

Tim Duncan, DeAndre Jordan (Photo: D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)


(Photo: D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)
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