Spurs 112 Blazers 96
--Despite the greater final deficit I felt this was a much better game than Satuday's against Dallas. We had more energy, moved the ball better, shot better, rebounded better...we even played some semi-tough interior defense. The main thing to take from this game is what a night and day difference having Roy on the floor makes for our team. Seriously, the other night it's like we took the court with our heart missing. It just didn't work. Tonight we took a beating but we were in there fighting (and executing) all the way. To have a player make that kind of impact in less than one season is amazing. But believe me, he has. It's written all over everything we do.
--If we had one, enormous failing it would be the perimeter defense. Too much switching, not enough hustling. Jarrett Jack came out of his offensive slump tonight but his defensive woes continued. Part of Tony Parker's 30 was just Tony being Tony, but really all of the San Antonio small guys made good against us. My in-game comment was that at least we should have rolled out a red carpet in the lane and made Tony wear a nice Versace dress if we were going to give him that kind of access. You know his lady could set him up with that...
-- I was very impressed tonight with how unselfishly we played on offense and how well we took care of the ball. Neither is a guarantee when you're playing one of the most accomplished defensive squads in the modern era.
--The Spurs had 39 free throw attempts and we had 19.
There are really three-and-a-half significant individual notes:
--Brandon played nearly 40 minutes, proving again that when Nate has him around he just can't help himself. He apparently experienced some knee pain late in the game but it must not have been serious as they put him back in. He shot 6-13 including some very fine drives and jumpers both. Roy was the one Blazer who looked like he could have made a seamless transition to the other team and helped them. 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists was the final tally.
--Jarrett Jack had one of his better statistical games with 8-11 shooting, 8 assists, and only 1 turnover. He ended up with 19 points total. He was very aggressive going to the lane and set up a lot of folks thereby. He looked like he was trying to be more of the team leader out there. The thing is, the leadership comes when you play as hard and effectively on defense as you do on offense. Granted this aggressive offensive Jarrett is WAY better than the slumping model we saw earlier, but we're only halfway there.
--Magloire also scored 19 on 7-12 shooting. He was pretty devastating inside. As has become typical he also jawed it up with a few Spurs, making the game a lot more physical than it otherwise would have been. We need that, so good.
--Ime hit a couple of shots tonight! He had a big smile on his face after he drained a three early in the game. He also got 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
--Raef's shot was on also. He was 4-8 for 10 points. He also showed a veteran's knack of knowing where to put his body on both ends of the court. I like what he's given us late in the year.
--Sergio had the most significant night off the bench, shooting 4-6, including a couple of confident jumpers, en route to 9 points. He had no assists in 13 minutes though. On the other hand he had no turnovers either.
--Travis Outlaw--now a.k.a. "The Gatling Gun" (fires about 400 shots a minute)--went 3-11 for 6 points. He also had 2 blocks.
--Martell Webster had a quiet night offensively (5 points off a 3-pointer and 2 free throws in 19 minutes) but had 5 rebounds.
--Dan Dickau scored more than a point a minute! Unfortunately he only played 3 minutes.
It'll be good to get home, even if we do have to face the Rockets again on Wednesday. Getting through the Texas trip 1-2 was better than I thought we'd do.