SAN ANTONIO – LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-107, snapping LA's three-game winning streak and moving to a perfect 15-0 at home this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The entirety of the NBA's eyes all were drawn on this game as two of the elite teams in the league went head-to-head. The game was also a rematch from the exciting first round of last spring's NBA Playoffs when the Clippers defeated the Spurs in seven games.
Blake Griffin started hot, scoring 10 points in the first quarter and the Clippers led by four heading into the second quarter. But the Spurs made up the difference and both teams were tied 55-55 at the half.
After an exciting third quarter saw both teams eclipse the 30-point plateau, San Antonio dug in down the stretch, stopping the Clippers as Gregg Popovich enacted the "Hack-a-Jordan" strategy, sending Clippers center, DeAndre Jordan to the free throw line 20 times.
After multiple missed attempts from the charity stripe, San Antonio extended their lead to ten points before Doc Rivers was finally forced to take Jordan out of the game with just over five minutes remaining.
The Spurs lead was too much to overcome after Jordan exited stage left. The Clippers got as close as four points, but Wesley Johnson missed a corner three with less than a minute remaining in the game and the Spurs held on for the victoy.
Chris Paul led the Clippers with 27 points and 10 assists. Jordan finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Griffin had a fantastic line of 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
LeMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs and Tony Parker chipped in 21 points as well.
Fourth quarter "Hack-A-Jordan." Once the Spurs took the lead earlier in the fourth quarter, Popovich sent the Clippers big man to the line repeatedly, stretching the lead to as many as ten points before Doc Rivers was forced to remove him from the game.
MVP OF THE GAME
LaMarcus Aldridge. It was the Clippers first taste of the former Portland Trailblazers power forward in San Antonio, and they would like it very much if they didn't have to see him again this season.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Prior to tonight, the Clippers were 14-0 when DeAndre Jordan attempted 14 or more free throws.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
I have a solution to this Hack-A-Jordan thing. Don't show the Clippers on TV. — Quixem Ramirez (@quixem) December 19, 2015
Then how will we cover the away games?
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Gregg Popovich's pregame tactical strategy to the Spurs: "Let's hug it out, bitch."
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"MVP, MVP, MVP!" Chanted by the fans at ATT&T Center every time Kawhi Leonard went to the free throw line.
DeAndre Jordan recorded 15 or more rebounds for the 91st time, the most in Clippers history.
Los Angeles Clippers (16-11, 6-6 on the road) 2nd in Pacific Division
San Antonio Spurs (23-5, 15-0 at home) 1st in the Southwest Division.
The Spurs host the red-hot Indiana Pacers on Monday at 5:30 PM PST.
The Clippers will have no time to wallow in their disappointing loss as they continue their "Texas two-step" when they travel to Houston to face the team that ended their season in the Rockets at 5:00PM PST.