At the age of 36, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan can no longer reach the heights consistently that he could five years ago; however as he demonstrated to the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night at the AT&T Center, he is still capable of dominating a game in the Association. The former NBA MVP looked like he was in his prime as he notched a double-double, knocking down a game high 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Spurs defeated the Clippers 108-92 to open up their Western Conference semi-final match-up. Manu Ginobili added 22 points for the home team as they took over the contest during the second and the third periods.
Eric Bledsoe came off the bench for the visitors and put up a team high 23 points in the loss. Blake Griffin, whose status was unknown before game-time due to a sore knee put up 15 points as did Caron Butler. Chris Paul however, suffering from a strained hip-flexor got ten assists in the game, but only scored six points for the night.
The two opponents stood toe-to-toe for the first 12 minutes of action trading blows. Paul sank a mid-range jumper at the buzzer and the score was knotted up at 29-29 at the end of the period. The Spurs stayed hot offensively during the second, however the Clippers could not keep up with their hosts. Daniel Green buried a 25 foot trey with 44 seconds to play and San Antonio held a 57-49 advantage as the game reached the half.
The Spurs would take the contest over during the third as they once again dominated their opponents offensively. The veteran Ginobili drove the lane putting the ball in the cylinder with 26 seconds in the period and his team would be on top 87-72 at the conclusion of the quarter. Los Angeles never got closer than trailing by eight points in the final period, as the Spurs took the game with ease.
The two teams will take to the court once again on Thursday night to play game two of the series.