Clippers Can’t Finish, Are Finished




LOS ANGELES – Chris Paul was running and dishing. Blake Griffin was jumping and slamming. Clipper Nation was screaming and believing.

The Spurs were just playing.

When the home team ran out to a brunch-time 40-16 lead and had the boys from San Antonio wearing huevos rancheros on their faces, some even began to wonder if head coach Gregg Popovich would pull his starters at halftime and save them for Part II of the back-to-back on Sunday.

If nothing else, it looked like the Clippers would finally earn a measure of respect in the series.

But that’s the problem. The Spurs make you earn everything. They don’t panic. They don’t roll over. They just keep coming.

Tim Duncan finally gets a couple of inside moves to roll in and then Tony Parker drops in a floater and Manu Ginobili slings in a 3-pointer from just outside Buenos Aires and that great sucking sound that came from inside the Staples Center was all of the life coming out of Clipper Nation. They had seen it all before, too many times, long before this season of rebirth and hope.

Before long Griffin was dragging his sore right knee around the floor and Paul was back to looking life a do-it-all All-Star point guard who couldn’t do any of the things he wanted to do.

In the end it was 96-86 Spurs, who now have a 3-0 stranglehold lead in the series and must have the Clippers wondering why they have to come back and bang their hands against the wall on Sunday night.

It was nice while it lasted in Clipper Nation.

The Spurs just last longer.

80 Comments

  1. charles says:

    The story for the clips is: great trade of Chris Paul AND great job hanging on to Eric Bledsoe – the guy is phenomenal.

  2. kobe says:

    great year for the clips..they should have no shame losing to the 2012 NBA CHAMPS

  3. philip_41dirk says:

    i think san antonio deserves all the credit because the are the role model of a great nba team for a very long time,, protecting its players from injuries, winning multiple nba championships, preserving tim duncan adding more pieces, great coach. i think that the thing which is special from the spurs

  4. toygun says:

    it would have been a better series in terms of match-up if the Griz fought the Spurs.. i like the Clips but SA is just too much for them at the moment, better luck next year, they should add some more pieces, a big wing defender and a solid rebounder maybe, another veteran w/ a voice also will help

  5. jebbbig says:

    The spurs are toying with the clippers just as the Thunder are toying with the lunkers.

  6. 2-SPURIFFIC says:

    The Spurs did a “Rope-A-Dope” thing with the Clippers. Something Muhammad Ali did quite frequently with his boxing opponents. Spurs let the Clippers burn themselves out in the first quarter then came in for the kill….GO SPURS GO!!

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      You may actually be right. Give them a big lead, they pump their chests out, think they have it in the bag and then totally demoralise them mentally and spiritually. Winning this game,like this, just made game 4 a cakewalk. The clips wont have anything left.

  7. Lakerfan says:

    Spurs play Basketball from another planet, but when Tony Parker stops with bball the Spurs are not any more as good as they are now.

  8. jan_279 says:

    Chris Paul is definitely not a hundred percent in this series. There’s just no other explanation why Tony Parker is owning him big time in this series. A healthy CP3 should be able to keep up with or even own TP.

  9. Dalwin says:

    I agree Spurs are to good , and make Clippers look bad team . but Clippers are NOT bad team with tweak here and there they will be Contender years to come.
    For present time is SPURS time period .

    NO TEAM EAST OR WEST WILL BEAT THIS SPURS TEAM 4 TIMES FROM 7 GAMES . THEY ARE SIMPLY THE BEST .

  10. Fefe says:

    Tony Parker is killing CP3 in this series….

    Hope that Tony Parker gets voted in the ALL NBA FIRST TEAM. If not, it will be because he’s not from USA.

    Anyway we know it will be Spurs vs OKC… even if nothing is impossible.

    I hope that it’ll be Pacers vs 76ers or Celtics in the East

  11. Mbust says:

    It’s not how you start, but how you FINISH!!!!
    GO SPURS GO!!

  12. Junker says:

    Awesome job by the SA Spurs. As for the statements that the Spurs are lucky to meet battered and bruised Clippers I say BOO HOO! Coach Pop has worked an entire season just to ensure that the players stay healthy. He managed their minutes, he even made the BIG 3 miss a couple of games just so they can rest. Even with all those things SA Spurs finished up on top of the division. Luck?! Yeah keep telling yourself that.

    • JJ says:

      you’re THE MAN!! there is no such thing as being lucky! you just don’t get lucky, you build your luck yourself!!!!

  13. twistergear says:

    the Spurs is pretty solid team.. as for the clippers, you can’t win championship by just dunking! no matter how good your point guard is, as long as you don’t have a shooter around to open up things on the paint you’re in trouble!

    And for the NBA… The MVP award should have gone to somebody else! Lebron is a flop!!!

    • Akuhano says:

      It’s obvious that you just don’t like Lebron. He deserved the MVP this year. He posted the best overall stats this season, even if he flops.

  14. Cliff says:

    I love to watch Griffin makes those flying acrobatic dunks! – But …. he is going to have to learn to shoot a 15-17 foot jumper; if he is going to advance to the next level. The man is a gifted athlete, and shows amazing physical moves; but the Spurs are showing how to win in the NBA. With …. great teamwork and consistent shooting along with defense. Although I don’t personally care for Lebron James …. That would be the kind of player Griffin could be — if he could only learn to shoot jumpers.

  15. celtics 1000 says:

    spurs played good basketball they have been knocking out oponents since the start of the season . tell griffin basket ball is not about dunking it about winning. last time i checke d all teams that won an nba champtionship have been veteran teams

  16. Spurs Fan says:

    This is the first time the Spurs have been healthy since the championship run in 2007.. yes, we know about injuries too.

  17. Stijl says:

    Long time Spur fan since the days of Gervin and think this is the best team they ever put together. So to those that think this team has gotten to this point by luck…either their not basketball savvy or out right jealous. Maybe even both.

    The drive for 5 is on. This team (the Spurs) are peaking at the right time and playing “Team” basketball better than any other. That’s not to say injuries to players don’t have their effect. Spur fans know all to well how the injury to Ginobili and Duncan at the end of last season helped Memphis oust them in the first round. But Memphis played great as well and was the better team at that time just like the Spurs are at this point…the better team.

  18. Chase says:

    @ Kenneth Ranson: Kareem is debatable but you can’t compare players like him, Bill Russel, Wilt, etc to todays big men/pf’s. It’s just a totally different game and the skill level is so much higher, not to mention they were like a foot taller than everyone else back then and they could just stand in the lane all day without consequence. I really can’t comprehend why anyone takes any NBA records before the 80s seriously without some kind of asterisk. They were great players, dont get me wrong, but Kobe’s 81 deserves SO much more respect than Wilt’s 100, or any of the old totally absurd ‘NBA’ records. I mean averaging a triple-double? I mean averaging a triple-double? Come on… even the former triple-double king J-kidd never came close to that, and sorry but nor will LeBron. Tim Duncan is the best PF of our era, perhaps even big-man.

  19. duro says:

    @Justin: that’s typical of diehard, brainless fans. If they win, it’s ’cause they’re great, if they lose, it’s ’cause they’re unlucky.
    I respect the Clippers and their fans (the longtime ones, not those just jumping on the bandwagon today) for they stayed steady during many years of ridiculous management by the ownership. Unfortunately for them – and despite what bittered fans like Justin think – they’re not a championship team yet. They have one of the best PG’s, they have a great PG back-up (unfortunately injured now) and they have an awesome muscle-and-nerves machine (Griffin) who just needs to learn some basketball (b’ball is not about dunkin’, despite what NBA like to tell us).
    They need experience, yes, but they need a lot more before becoming a real contender. They need a real center (Jordan is a joke and they know it); they need a SF able to shoot from outside and play schemes (not just jumping out of the roof) and they need a deep roster (including bench). It’ll take some time. Just hope that the owner doesn’t lose his patience before.
    Finally, about Spurs’ “luck”. Yes, they’ve been lucky to find injured battered Clippers. If Clippers were healthy, they Spurs would have won 4-1 or even 4-2. That’s it. If you dream differently, it’s ’cause you doesn’t see (or want to see) reality.
    More in general about Spurs’ “luck”: they picked up Duncan 15years ago. After that they never had a top pick, ever. Their “best” pick has been this year’s Leonard… at no. 15! They’re the winningest pro team (in any sport) in the last 10/15 years. Through programming, learning, teambuilding and care. I think the average Spurs fan is the only sports fan in USA not giving a damn about the picks lottery. He/she knows that whoever the Spurs will get, he’ll be at least a good player and he’ll become a great player after the Spurs’ treatment. Please show me another team that can boast the same.

    • Peter says:

      Yeah right..

    • gerry halley says:

      You said it all. Its the program , They take the right type of players then teach it to them . No egos no selfish types ( Kobe)no head cases ( Artest) .no dirty players ( Garnett) . Good solid coachable players.

    • mjsino says:

      you my friend, are right on the money.
      its hard to find supporters, who can see reality, not just be 100% biased by their team.
      just like i head a commentator say recently: had this 17th game winning streak been done by another team, a more popular and rated team, lets say lakers or the heat, everyone would be calling them one of the greatest and so on, yet since its the spurs, no one gives a damn.
      im not sure if we are going to win the whole thing, okc looks tough to beat in the conference finals, and whoever comes out of the east looks worthy too, but because of what i said above, i would just love to win the whole thing ( even better if it was without a single loss), to see what excuses and lame reasons people would try to put forward, instead of admitting the spurs are just a damn good team.

  20. Ted says:

    Seriously, get rid of Del Negro. No matter how badly injured your players are and no matter how good your opponents are, you can’t just allow a 24-0 run to happen. He is the real problem here.

    • James says:

      Ted you are so right, you must know a little about Ba..
      Del N has to go, really dumb coach, 24 point run, take a few time outs and set up a play and get Chrs or Blake the ball in a place they can score.
      Thre real problem is the Clippers don’t have anyone that really has what it take to beat the Spurs. Plus the coach for the spurs is so so much better thatn DN it’s funny.
      Plus blake and chis are cool for dunks but real ball, where you need a spirit of a champ, they don’t have it and that’s the turth.
      They are nice guys, good player but not winners.
      You need a winner sprit and without it you ar ea loser and it will show, they may come close in game 5 but the spurs could beat them playing at 60%.

  21. Tod Smith says:

    Clips have done all the could this season.

    New Team
    Injuries

    This year the Champs are going to be who is the healthiest.

    That Leaves.

    San Antonio
    OKC
    Lakers

  22. Coach G says:

    What was the coach of LAC doin? I think his just waching spurs to run over them….

  23. K-IN-G says:

    When I was watching this game, I was amused that the Clippers were full of energy and power. I turned the T.V. off at halftime.How stupid was I!! The Spuurs had an exellent comeback using all fundementals and left a bad taste at the Staples Cencter!!! Can’t wait for the Spurs-Thunder series!!!!!

  24. Amitpal says:

    Had chris Paul been healthy this would have been a total different story. I think had the clipper been healthy they could have won this series. But they weren’t healthy and they ain’t winning.

    • LK from Sri Lanka says:

      Oh….You seems to be watching your first NBA postseason…..At least, you sounds like that…..Healthy or not Healthy, the result would have been the same….SPURS are playing thier best Basketball after 2003-2004 season..even though they won thier 04th Championship in 2006-2007, they were not paying like this…and they are the best 3 PT shooting team + has the deepest bench in NBA + Big 03 is healthy as ever (no one can take health as an excuse – look how Pop has managed to keep the 30-somthing big 03) this looks like a Championship formula to me……and for so many people out there…

    • JJ says:

      Clippers are going to be a great team. but they’re not there yet. Dunk after dunk… yeah well, I believe every dunk only counts 2 pts isn’t it? or am I wrong?
      a bball game isn’t only about dunks and alley-oops.. When the clippers finally understand that, they’ll get better…for now, healthy or not, they are not good enough to beat the spurs

  25. Justin says:

    1.Look at the Clippers
    Injured Paul, Injured Griffin, Injured Butler, Injured Billups, Injured Williams
    They are all tired and weary, San Antonio must be happy that Clippers won over Memphis and Memphis must be ashamed of themselves losing a Game 7 to a team that is troubled by injuries.
    San Antonio was just totally lucky.

    • HoopsFan says:

      Lucky?? Really??
      The Spurs go 50 – 16 on the season. They are the only team to win their back-to-back-to-back matches (twice). 3 double digit winning streaks – 2 @ 11 wins & the current streak @ 17 wins and counting. That is a wee bit more than luck..
      You may not like the Spurs, and that’s quite alright. However, you have to respect what they have accomplished during the season and what they are doing right now in their bid for another title…

    • Tami says:

      Luck, sure, you gotta have some but Spurs built a team of 10 to win their games without tiring their best players while Clippers have their best players so tired, they’re all injured…
      Coach Pop did a great job to maintain Spurs healthy … and it was anything but lucky

    • kobe says:

      justin u must b knew to watching bball..lucky..im a laker fan and spurs have been the most consistant team in the league..even if clippps were healthy they would on won 1 maybe 2 and thats it..all clippers do is dunk and shoot jumpshots..no inside game…u just made me laugh..thanks i needed that for a monday

  26. Justin says:

    and then the winner from OKC vs LAL wins against the spurs and all of you guys go nuts

  27. leo says:

    it makes me flustered the nba.com shows highlights of blake dunking on duncan but what about the blocked dunk duncan had back on blake. the was an amazing play. even abc thought it was great showing it over and over yet nba aims to protect its young star from any blemishes. go spurs go

    • Cody says:

      True story and tim duncan was inches from blockin that too. look at his hand.

    • Steve T says:

      They did post that missed dunk of Ginobili’s a while back, and of course, put it in the game recap.

    • JJ says:

      Duncan will forever own Griffin… dunk all you want, jump as high as you can… still only counts 2 pts

  28. Alexis says:

    My Spurs have never been an afternoon game team. It always takes them a little time to wake up and warm up. Then it’s game on.

  29. Bru says:

    Spurs are so GREAT !!! That was impressive tonight …. They just showed how a team have to be : no big flashy stars but a really beautifull game with effective players , no players who think they are better than the coach , offense , defense , all is good and all are expecting for only one thing : the title ! Beautifull team !!!! go spurs !!!!

  30. Melchizedek says:

    Tim Duncan is the best power forward of all-time in NBA. No doubt about it. Sorry Clippers but Spurs is destined to be the NBA Champs.

  31. kris says:

    Loving the fall of LA bball teams!! All those bandwagon clipper fans, I have never seen that crowd before when they were sooooo bad!!!!!!

    • JJ says:

      well said… not just LA fans… a lot of people are behind a team only when they win. Like that mentally challenged guy who threatned Steve Blake’s family for not making the final shot in game 2 vs OKC. But this happens not only in bball. You’ll probably see a lot, and I mean, millions of Manchester City’s fans now… how about 5 years ago when they were, as the clippers, soooo bad!?

  32. Joe says:

    Clippers had a good season. A newly formed team in a shortened season going against veterans: Duncan, Parker, Ginobli & Pop; they just can’t compare. Looking forward to next season. Clippers have enough talented players, good bench and they’ll have Chauncey Billups coming back. I think Griffin is gonna get better & become multidimensional. It’s only his 2nd year. Offense & defense are not fluid yet but it’ll come with experience and trusting each other. They seem a bit undersized but overcame it against Memphis

    • eddie57 says:

      Chancey is not a lock because he is a Free Agent as are Young, Foye, Martin and Reggie Evans. After next year Paul will also be a FA. Won’t be easy to retain those guys with the new lower salary cap and a stingy owner.

  33. Dalwin says:

    This is like joke . Spurs desided to let Clippers lead them by 24 points . And then Duncan,Parker , Ginobili & others seed . OK. we got game to play .For three quoters.
    Just awesome & impresive …………very impresive

  34. redbear18 says:

    Spurs will cruise to the sweep, and, although they are putting up a fight, the Lakers will lose to the Thunder. That’s the matchup I want to see. The grizzled veterans famous for unselfish teamwork who have already won multiple championships with their core, and the new, young, exciting team, who are learning to play well together, but have nothing to show for it and having to start from scratch as a result of the Sonics-Thunder fiasco, hungry to carve out a place for themselves among the league’s elite, not just this year, but all the teams ever. This is gonna be fun.

  35. Jkey says:

    I’m not a Spurs fan, but when a team plays so well like they have all season, I hope that they win this year for the vets.

  36. YogiD says:

    Solid consistent team play says it all, that is why the Spurs have won 17 straight. Whoever they face next (most likely OKC) they should provide more of a challenge than any team the Spurs have faced so far yet I still think that SA has been playing better ball than ANY other team and will still claim the big win.

    GO SPURS GO!

  37. Kenneth Ranson says:

    @Q-pid
    Greatest power forwards of all time, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, in that order.
    Greatest big men of all time, Kareem Jabbar, Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, George Mikan, in that order.

  38. Edinspur says:

    Have to say, Spurs seem to just go from strength to strength! I was impressed in the regular season but this is something else.

    Best 3 player partnership of all time? It is certainly up there.

  39. Rhsa says:

    This is a well written little blurb.

  40. Spurs for champs ! says:

    Great game tonight ! WHen you see the Spurs play, it’s like what basketball is all about, bball IQ off the roof, team work, resilience, great defence and offense. After the Bulls got out because of injuries, they are the only great representants of the only game, the best of all, Basketball. I love this game.

  41. Q-pid says:

    Tim Duncan’s game is almost like he is playing in slow motion he is so great so fundamental until its only when u focus and realize that he must be top 3 in the great power forwards who have ever played the game!!!!

    • LK from Sri Lanka says:

      TOP 3 ? Are you kidding ? TD is the Greaatest power Forward ever to play the game….Amongst the best Power Fowards, he is the only player has multiple championships….Infact, the next best Power Forward (Karl Malone) never won a Championship……

      • eddie57 says:

        If not for injuries and the BS 4/10th of a second shot by Fisher the Spurs might have 6 or 7 Trophies.

  42. Q-pid says:

    spurs will win Nba championship against who ever comes out the east 4 games to 2

  43. fefo says:

    Clippers are done, but its not their fault, san antonio is just a superior team. They will probably win it all…

  44. fonzy says:

    Trust-unselfishness-Teamwork

    -spurs

    Money-Fame-Individual awards

    -miami heat

    • TD says:

      Totally agree.

      Tim Duncan is my favoutire NBA player his rookie season. He is great and calm, consistent and most importantly — unselfish and team first. So I love Spurs game as well.

      That’s the difference from him to LBJ and MIA.

  45. Lindie says:

    You are playing on your truf and up by twenty-four points…YOU must close out the game! This show cased the mental aspect of the game. The Clippers showed they can hang with the Spurs with the intensity they brought on the first quarter. It appeared the Spurs let them used up all their intensity and the fury of a F8 tornado and after the Clippers were drained out, the Spurs calming went back to playing beautiful basketball. No panic, no bad mouthing your coach. The Clippers have one more game to try and safe some face. But I don’t think it will happen. It is hard mentally to overcome this loss and it will stay with them on the fourth game. Get your fishing poles ready.

  46. crazy_ghost says:

    griffin been out of gas in the second half…hack a evans tactic works pretty well to save some energy for tomorrows game…
    24 point deficit in the first half but spurs came back slowly and took a commanding 3-0 in the series…
    DRIVE FOR FIVE BABY….GO SPURS GO!!!!
    duncan—monster game,,,parker—superior,,, ginobili&others—superb all around effort!!!!!!!!!

  47. David says:

    Loved it!

  48. Eaham says:

    Clippers seem so lost at times on offence. Always running the O through Paul or Griffin. Curon dissapeared , so did nick young and Mo. After Billups went down the Clipps just hasn’t been the same.