Houston Rockets 83-100 San Antonio Spurs: 5 Talking Points
In this highly anticipated encounter between two Western Conference powerhouses during the Easter weekend, the San Antonio Spurs came away with the win on the back of a complete team effort. Missing in their squad was their best player Kawhi Leonard but the valiant efforts of multiple players ensured a convincing and decisive victory in their bid to make the Playoffs.
After 20 years of consistency, the Spurs are threatened by smaller franchises in their playoff bid. They have always ended up winning more than 50 games in the regular season which is questionable this season with their record standing at 45-32 and with only five games of the regular season left and smaller franchises earning similar numbers.
The Houston Rockets' offense has rarely faltered this season but were kept silent by the collective effort of the Spurs. Houston were without star man Chris Paul, who was present during the game on the bench. The Rockets had an offensive night to forget, only making 33.8% of their field goals while the Spurs shot at 49.4%.
Prior to this game, the Rockets had already sealed the best record for the Playoffs and had won a franchise-record number of games (62), so this game was relatively insignificant.
Here are 5 talking points from the game:
#5 Role Players were the stars of the night
When the Spurs last won the NBA Championship in 2014, they had an aged big three in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan. Leonard was still in his third year in the NBA. There was not a single high scoring offensively capable player on the team. It was a complete team performance with each player contributing effectively to the cause which ended up making the difference. Tonight, against the Rockets they looked like the same team which won the championship in 2014.
They had huge contributions from all the role players at the Spurs. The most notable was Rudy Gay, who scored 21 points in 24 minutes on 69.2% shooting. Patty Mills was on fire in the fourth quarter after Coach Gregg Popovich had a few encouraging words. He knocked down two threes and a long two-pointer halfway through the fourth quarter. Veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili together contributed 10 points and 7 assists.