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Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers catches a pass in front of Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Hard to think of a better example of a veteran-loaded team handling an opposing team full of young stars in the NBA playoffs.
When the San Antonio Spurs fell behind by 24 points early in the second quarter there was no sign of panic, bad shot selection or slumped shoulders.
Instead they simply saddled up and methodically took apart the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Spurs main trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have seen it all. Today was the 129th playoff game they have played together, all under the same head coach, Greg Popovich.
The Clippers on other hand have now played a collective 10 playoff games under head coach Vinny Del Negro, and it definitely showed on Saturday.
Coming into Game 3 Del Negro said for the Clippers to win, they would need Chris Paul to have a great game. That did not happen.
For the third straight game in this series he was out played by Tony Parker. After the first quarter, Parker controlled the tempo of the game finishing with 23 points, while Paul was held to 12 points on 5 for 17 shooting.
However, criticism for Paul should be held to a minimum since he has played the entire series with a strained hip flexor. An injury that normally would have sidelined him during the regular season.
A bright spot for the Clippers was that Blake Griffin finally showed up in this series. It looked like he was completely comfortable with his sprained left knee, resulting in an energetic 20 point first half.
But like so many young and inexperienced players that go up against the Spurs, Griffin was basically taken out of the game in the second half by the Spurs suffocating defense. They forced Griffin away from the basket and he finished with only 8 second half points.
The coaching check mark once again goes to the Spurs. Popovich made some critical defensive adjustments at halftime, while Del Negro seemed to have no answer.
Resulting in the Spurs outscoring the Clippers 26 to 8 in the third quarter.
The Clippers now face an 0-3 deficit in the series.
They also are well aware that no NBA team has ever comeback from 0-3 down, so the question heading into Sunday's game 4: Will we see a Clippers team fighting for their playoff lives? Or a team that is ready for summer break?