Spurs bounce Bobcats behind record shooting night
They say good things come in threes.
That couldn't have been any truer than for San Antonio on the basketball court Saturday.
Behind a franchise-record 19 3-pointers, the Spurs clobbered the Charlotte Bobcats 132-102 at Time Warner Cable Arena.
"We made a lot of threes," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We had a phenomenal night from the 3-point line. When an NBA team does that, it makes it pretty tough on an opponent. It's abnormal, but it happened tonight, so it made it tough on Charlotte."
The win is San Antonio's fourth straight, while Charlotte (7-12) dropped its seventh-straight contest after equaling its win total from a season ago.
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said his team can learn a lot from the Spurs not only in Saturday's game, but also in how their franchise is centered.
"We can take clips from this game in terms of where the Spurs are at," he said. "They have their core players and four championship rings. Their coach has been there for longer than most of us can recall. So their culture is already set, whether that's hitting quality shots or how they selected their team. Their core is intact. So there is modeling there that we can use."
Danny Green led the hot shooting night for San Antonio (17-4), making seven of his nine 3-point attempts en route to a 23-point scoring night.
Teammate Tony Parker wasn't far behind, scoring 22 points on 10-of-12 field goals and adding nine assists.
"Tony was driving, and the defense was collapsing on Tim (Duncan). So there were a lot of open shots from the perimeter," Green said. "We were driving and kicking and moving the ball. It makes the game a lot easier when you're making shots. We haven't been shooting the ball as well lately from the outside, so I don't blame them for trying to do that."
Charlotte started off the game solidly with guard Kemba Walker leading the way with 12 first quarter points.
Walker finished Saturday's game with a team-high 23 points.
By the end of the quarter, though, San Antonio had gained the lead with nine points each from Parker, Green and Manu Ginobili.
Injuries also didn't help Charlotte's cause to get back into the game. Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the second quarter with a tailbone contusion.
He did return in the second half, finishing with eight points, six assists and five rebounds.
Forward Gerald Henderson provided a strong boost for Charlotte of the bench, continuing his strong play since returning from a month-long foot injury.
Henderson scored 13 points in Saturday's game.
Despite the efforts of Walker and Henderson, though, the Spurs surged offensively in the second half to pull away for good in the game.
Leading 59-44 at halftime, the Spurs exploded in the third and fourth quarters, scoring 38 and 35 points, respectively.
The Spurs' 73-point second half tied for the largest allowed by the Bobcats in franchise history.
“You have to give (San Antonio) all the credit. They put a lot of pressure on you to play defense," Henderson said. "If they are hitting shots and you are not on your game defensively, you have to score a lot of points to try to win. With the way they run their offense, it’s structured. Their spacing is perfect. Everybody’s always in the right spot — from the first guy to the last guy on the bench. That’s how (Gregg Popovich) coaches. It’s like that every game for them. Most of the time, it comes down to their defense and if they are hitting shots. Offensively, we didn’t do too bad. We scored over 100 points. A game like this, it puts a lot of emphasis and pressure on your defense.”
San Antonio's 132 points are also the most scored against the Bobcats since the Golden State Warriors netted 131 points on Jan. 27, 2007. The most points ever scored against the Bobcats were 136 by the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 25, 2006.
Charlotte tries to end its skid when it returns to the court on Monday at 7 p.m. against the Warriors (13-7) at Time Warner Cable Arena.