Los Angeles at San Antonio

Manu, Jefferson give Spurs 18th straight against Clips

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- When Richard Jefferson opted out of a lucrative contract this summer, he signed a new deal paying him more like a sidekick than a star.

Compared to last year, the Spurs are getting a bargain.

Jefferson scored 22 points -- his third 20-point night in the past four games -- and the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth straight with a 107-95 victory against the banged-up Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

A bundle of 20-point games was nothing for Jefferson before arriving in San Antonio. But coming off a miserable debut with the Spurs a year ago, Jefferson has quietly emerged as the second-leading scorer for the 6-1 Spurs.

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He's not expecting to take over the top spot.

"I doubt it," Jefferson said. "You look at Manu [Ginobili] and Tony [Parker], they have the balls in their hand the majority of the game. My job is to knock down shots."

Ginobili also had 22 points, and Parker had 21 points and nine rebounds.

The Spurs won their 18th consecutive game against the Clippers, who played without Eric Gordon, Baron Davis or Chris Kaman -- three of their four leading scorers.

Injuries have decimated the Clippers, who are off to another horrendous start for the woebegone franchise. They fell to 1-8, so far showing no signs of the playoff potential that first-year coach Vinny Del Negro felt he had.

Rasual Butler led the Clippers with 18 points. Blake Griffin struggled for a second successive game, scoring 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting, a night after scoring 10 in a loss to New Orleans.

His most memorable play was a one-handed alley-oop dunk late in the fourth, which he might have thrown down with frustration after the rookie was whistled for a technical foul.

"It's not like we're going out there and giving up," Griffin said. "It's tough. We've already lost more games than we lost my last year in college, and [Oklahoma] played almost three time the amount of games we've played."

San Antonio improved to 6-1, and is far making good on their goal of not lumbering out of the gate as in recent seasons. Only unbeaten New Orleans has beaten the Spurs, who've taken advantage of struggling teams during this early streak.

In beating the Clippers, the Spurs have won their past three games against one-win teams. Next up is Philadelphia, which has won only twice.

But the Clippers didn't make this one entirely easy.

Forced to play their fourth different starting lineup already this season, the Clippers took the lead midway through the third quarter on an Eric Bledose 3-pointer. The Spurs answered with a 10-0 run, and despite a brief surge in the fourth quarter, the Clippers were soon headed home after a winless four-game road trip.

Tim Duncan, who skipped shootaround Wednesday morning because of flu-like symptoms, still started but scored only six points in 22 minutes.

Jefferson, who gave up $15.2 million this year to sign a new four-year deal worh about $38 million, was 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line.

"If you look at the way we started last year ... we were losing to teams we probably shouldn't have lost to," Jefferson said. "Here we're giving ourselves a little bit more of a cushion."

Ryan Gomes and Bledsoe scored 11 apiece for the Clippers. Craig Smith had 15 points off the bench.

Kaman is expected to miss at least two weeks after spraining his ankle Tuesday night at New Orleans. The Clippers were also missing leading scorer Eric Gordon (shoulder) for the second successive night and point guard Baron Davis.

Davis played for the first time in five games Tuesday, but Del Negro said his sore knee still isn't healthy enough to play back-to-backs. Backup guard Randy Foye (hamstring) also coninues to sit out.

"We got five guys hurt. It's weird, we came out of the locker to warm up and it was like half our team out there," Griffin said. "It's like going into a battle with half your guys. But we can't make excuses."

Notes

  • The Clippers haven't beaten the Spurs since March 2006. They'll get their next chance Dec. 1 in San Antonio, where the Clippers haven't won in eight years.
  • Spurs rookie Gary Neal, who hit five 3-pointers in a victory Monday at Charlotte, didn't enter the game until close to the final minute.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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DeJuan Blair contributes to the Spurs' 18th consecutive win over the Clippers with eight points and seven boards.  (AP)
DeJuan Blair contributes to the Spurs' 18th consecutive win over the Clippers with eight points and seven boards. (AP)

Scoreboard
L.A. Clippers 1-82024213095
San Antonio 6-1 «24272828107
LAC:R. Butler 18 Pts
LAC:B. Griffin 8 Reb
LAC:E. Bledsoe 7 Ast
SA:M. Ginobili 22 Pts
SA:A. McDyess 9 Reb
SA:T. Parker 9 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioLos Angeles

T. Parker

B. Griffin
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
21391183
Los Angeles
R. Butler, SG407-141-250118
R. Gomes, SF385-80-042611
B. Griffin, PF385-181-283111
E. Bledsoe, PG315-150-027211
D. Jordan, C153-40-16026
A. Aminu, SF264-71-230410
C. Smith, PF176-63-542415
W. Warren, SG170-22-21622
B. Cook, PF124-90-00119
J. Collins, C61-30-01012
B. Davis, PGDid Not Play
C. Kaman, CDid Not Play
R. Foye, PGDid Not Play
E. Gordon, SGDid Not Play
Totals 40-868-1434212495
 46.5%57.1% 
San Antonio
M. Ginobili, SG366-97-744122
R. Jefferson, SF366-126-631222
T. Parker, PG368-165-639321
D. Blair, PF284-90-07048
T. Duncan, PF223-70-06006
A. McDyess, PF262-60-09134
G. Hill, PG263-72-224010
T. Splitter, PF161-24-54036
J. Anderson, SG112-31-21117
C. Quinn, PG10-00-00000
A. Gee, SG10-00-01000
G. Neal, PG10-01-21101
M. Bonner, PFDid Not Play
G. Temple, SGDid Not Play
Totals 35-7126-30412117107
 49.3%86.7% 
Other Games
Mil 108 Final
Atl 91
Utah 104 Final
Orl 94
Hou 91 Final
Wash 98
Char 101 Final
Tor 96
NJ 95 Final
Cle 87
GS 122 Final
NY 117
Phi 103 Final
OKC 109
Dal 106 Final
Mem 91
Min 98 Final
Sac 89