In a remarkably efficient fashion Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs cut and spliced the Los Angeles Clippers, controlling their star players on one end and executing with precision on the other. The result was a rather pedestrian 108-92 victory in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff semifinals series.
Veteran Tim Duncan had had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Manu Ginobili added 22 for the Spurs, who have now won 15 straight games spanning the regular season. Meanwhile, the Clippers, played for the sixth time in 11 days and were not able to muster the kinds of runs that eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies from the playoff’s first round in seven games.
Blake Griffin, the young explosive L.A. big man, had 18 points, but was thoroughly outplayed by Duncan, whose game is marked by cunning moves and savvy footwork. Chris Paul, the all-star point guard, had just six points — none after halftime.
Playing for the sixth time in 11 days, the Clippers hung for a while, but fatigue set in. And the disciplined Spurs took advantage and breezed to the victory.
Reserve guard Eric Bledsoe led L.A. with 23 points. Game 2 is Thursday night in San Antonio.