|Date of game: 11/10/2014
Recap: LA Clippers vs. San Antonio
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - San Antonio's defense clamped down in the final minutes and took its first lead with less than two minutes left.
Outplayed throughout, the Spurs figured out a way to avoid their worst start in six years.
Kawhi Leonard netted 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and forced a pair of key steals late to lift the Spurs to an 89-85 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Chris Paul's runner staked the Clippers to an 82-75 advantage with 5:49 left, but endured a five-plus minute scoreless drought as San Antonio ripped off 12 unanswered points.
Jamal Crawford was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 25.8 ticks remaining and made all three to pull LA within 87-85 before Manu Ginobili missed a pair of free throws at the other end.
Paul's driving layup, however, didn't drop and Blake Griffin was called for a technical foul while he attempted to call a timeout on the floor with 1.4 seconds to go. The Clippers didn't have any timeouts left.
Tony Parker missed the technical freebie, but Leonard sunk two foul shots to seal the outcome.
"A hard loss," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "In the last four or five minutes of the game, we had some bad turnovers. Too many empty possessions. Give them credit, they did a lot of good things down the stretch."
Tim Duncan posted 18 points and 11 rebounds and Parker added 13 points and five assists for the Spurs, who moved to 3-3 on the young campaign. The team was on the verge of getting off to their worst start since beginning the 2008-09 season 2-5.
"We played good one-on-one defense. We were more consistent with our pick and roll," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
San Antonio won despite going just 2-of-19 from beyond the arc.
Griffin tallied 23 points, 10 boards and six assists, while Paul finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine helpers for Los Angeles, which played the second of a four-game homestand.
Once the Clippers went up seven, Duncan netted the first six points of San Antonio's 12-0 surge.
The Spurs then forced turnovers on three straight possessions. Leonard's swipe of Griffin led to a layup, Boris Diaw intercepted Paul's alley-oop attempt to DeAndre Jordan, which resulted in a Diaw floater at the other end, and another Leonard steal was eventually converted into a Ginobili layup to cap the burst.
Earlier, the Clippers led 20-14 after one and headed into the break with a 42-39 edge.
San Antonio, which began 0-for-13 from downtown, got consecutive triples from Matt Bonner and Leonard to trim the gap to 51-50 early in the third.
LA took a 70-64 cushion into the fourth.Game Notes
The Spurs have won 57 of their last 66 meetings with the Clippers ... San
Antonio scored 24 points off of 17 Clippers turnovers ... LA shot 44.6 percent
(33-of-74) from the floor, while San Antonio finished 39.8 percent (33-of-83)
from the field.