Three-pointers: Clippers turn up the defensive pressure, outpace Spurs

A matchup of Western Conference powers ended up a decisive open-court blowout. The Los Angeles Clippers have had an up-and-down start to their 2012-13 season, but rode one of their brightest performances of the season to a 106-84 win over the San Antonio Spurs. • This game was an unusual one, if only because the Clippers were able to make the Spurs look as old and slow as San Antonio’s reputation suggests. So long as Tim Duncan suits up in a Spurs uniform, many will associate his team with plodding, measured play — even if such a characterization hasn’t been valid since 2010. You wouldn’t know it from Wednesday night’s game, but the Spurs of today are an offensive powerhouse equipped to outrun and outscore even elite competition. That makes the two-way efforts of the Clippers on Wednesday night all the more impressive, as Los Angeles capitalized on every sputter of San Antonio’s offense en route to posting a fully dominant performance. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan offered up a sampling of their collective defensive potential, and rebuffed drive after drive by way of emphatic blocks and great positioning. On the other end of the court, Griffin, Jordan, and the Clippers very literally sprinted past the Spurs to score at a marvelous rate of 114 points per 100 possessions. The gap in athleticism could not have been more glaring; for whatever reason, the Clips were simply playing this game at an entirely different speed, and used stilted matchups, forced turnovers, and long rebounds as opportunities to exploit their natural advantage.

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