The Los Angeles Clippers will be rested and ready when they square off against the struggling San Antonio Spurs on Saturday in the Alamo City.
The Clippers head to San Antonio for the finale of a two-game road trip after a 113-89 loss at New Orleans on Thursday. Los Angeles, which has dropped four of its past six outings, played without Paul George (elbow) for the 11th straight game.
Terance Mann scored 15 points off the bench to lead the Clippers against the Pelicans. Marcus Morris Sr. had 12 points but was the only Los Angeles starter to reach double figures in scoring. The Clippers fell behind by 23 points in the second quarter and just didn’t have the firepower to mount a serious comeback.
“Everybody’s in good spirits,” Mann said. “We know that every game is not going to be easy, and we’re going to use these games as practice. So, you know, we’ll definitely learn something from this game and apply it to the next one.”
Reserves Serge Ibaka, Xavier Moon and Brandon Boston Jr. added 10 points apiece for the Clippers on Thursday.
“They looked slow — looked pretty old tonight and just didn’t have a lot of pop,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said of his starters after the loss. “That happens. We tried everything, I thought our young guys came in and played well and kind of cut the lead and gave us the opportunity to get into the game. But with our starters, from start to finish, they really took advantage of us.”
The Spurs will be looking to rebound from back-to-back close losses at home, the most recent a 114-109 setback against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 30 points and 14 rebounds, giving him consecutive outings with 30-plus points for the first time in his career.
Keldon Johnson added 18 points, Bryn Forbes had 15, Lonnie Walker IV scored 11 and Devin Vassell scored 10 points for San Antonio, which has dropped five straight games. Jakob Poeltl had 12 rebounds for the Spurs.
San Antonio missed seven straight shots from the floor and three free throws over a pivotal five-minute span in the game’s final stretch.
“(Cleveland’s) size has been a problem for everybody all year,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after defeat. “They scored 35 points in the first quarter, and they did it by getting in the paint.”
San Antonio has dropped the first two contests of its seven-game homestand and is just 7-12 on its home court this season. The Spurs played Friday without Derrick White and Tre Jones because of COVID health and safety protocol. Doug McDermott played for the first time in 2022 after missing seven games because of the NBA’s protocol.
The Saturday game will be the third and final meeting between the teams this season. The first two contests were in Los Angeles, with the Clippers winning 106-92 on Nov. 16 and San Antonio earning a 116-92 victory on Dec. 20.
–Field Level Media