The recent run of the Clippers taking their opponents down to the wire came to a screeching halt in San Antonio. After playing quality teams like Dallas and Detroit down to the final possession or two, L.A. could only hang around for a half before the Spurs ran away with this one, 106-84.
Still without the likes of Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, and Chris Kaman, the Clippers took advantage of a sluggish Spurs start to grab a one point halftime lead at 44-43. But San Antonio grabbed the lead back 20 seconds into the third quarter, and never relinquished it again. They went on a 10-0 run to start the period, and then outscored L.A. by 16 points in the fourth to pull away for the easy victory.
Except for the lack of fourth quarter scoring, the Clippers battled as they have for the last few games. Rookie Eric Gordon failed to register a career high in scoring as he did in each of his previous games, but he did manage 21 points, albeit on just 7-of-17 shooting. Al Thornton had 21 as well, but his six turnovers led the team in that category, and the dude plays at the forward spot, where turnovers simply aren't that easy to come by. Marcus Camby ended a streak of stellar performances on the glass by finishing with just nine points and nine boards in 30 minutes of action.
It's worth noting that no one on the Spurs matched or exceeded the 21 points put up by the Clippers' Gordon and Thornton, but that's just not how they roll. San Antonio had a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures, and Tim Duncan wasn't even one of them. No, the Spurs are content to beat you into submission by being fundamentally sound and playing good defense, and that combination was more than enough to send an undermanned Clippers team to their ninth straight loss, which is the longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season.