Spurs fall to Clippers in regular season home finale
Kawhi Leonard had 28 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for SA
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs finished their regular home season with a disappointing loss to the Las Angeles Clippers 98-87.
The Spurs have two gams left in the regular season on the road, but they will finish with a 31-10 record at home.
San Antonio played all of their usual starters for usual starter minutes other than Danny Green who missed another game with a left quad contusion.
The Spurs couldn't slow down the Clippers who won their fifth game in row.
DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul both had 13 in the first half.
Most of the Jordan points came of open alley-oops. They finished with 19 and 17 points respectively.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was not pleased with his teams lack of aggression.
"They were more aggressive than we were, they wanted the game more," Popovich said. "We didn't have enough physical toughness to compete with them. I thought Chris Paul sliced and diced us."
"We just weren't aggressive enough, they took the initiative and that is just how you lose games," said Pau Gasol, who scored 15 points off the bench.
San Antonio was down nine at the half, but Kawhi Leonard caught fire in the third with 15 points and and helped the Spurs get an 11 point lead down to 2.
Then the Clippers went on a 14-4 to close out the quarter with an 82-70 lead.
Eventhough Leonard and Aldridge played late into the fourth quarter, the Spurs could not close that gap.
Kawhi finished with 28 and Aldridge had 18.
Once again it came down to execution and Popovich was not happy with the Spurs' execution.
"Our execution at both ends, defensively and offensively, was really poor," Popovich said.
San Antonio has two road games left before the playoffs, Monday in Portland and Wednesday in Utah.
They will be working on getting that edge they need to to be ready for the playoffs.
"It's a perfect opportunity for us to step it up and get our selves ready for Memphis," Gasol said.
Everybody will get that opportunity, no more resting guys.
"Nobody's going to rest, everybody's going to play. We already rested everybody," Popovich said.
That is fine with the players, especially since they must get a physical edge back in order to compete against Memphis.
"Talent is not going to win us a playoff series alone, we are going to have to bring it and we are going to have to be the aggressor if we want to be successful," Gasol said.
In order to get the team to where they need to be, Kawhi Leonard said when it comes to setting tone it starts with, "me and the veteran guys, guys that have been there before that know what it takes to have a great playoff push," Leonard said.
"Let's not blow it out of proportion, we're not a bad team, guys have played tough and played the right way at times it's just, it's just time to turn it up," Aldridge said.
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