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Clippers impressed by Spurs' composure in Game 3

After trailing L.A. by 24 points in the second quarter, San Antonio remained focused as it trimmed the deficit to 10 by halftime, then took the lead in the third quarter and never looked back.

May 19, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • A fan tries to distract Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who watches his three-point shot go through the basket in the second half of Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.
A fan tries to distract Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who watches his three-point… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Slow and steady.

Nice and easy. Efficient and unspectacular.

That's what impressed the Clippers so much about playing against the San Antonio Spurs.

"They play the same way whether they are down 20 or up 20," Blake Griffin said. "And they always play hard."

In fact, the Clippers had the Spurs down by 24 points in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Spurs cut it to 10 by halftime and took the lead in the third, never turning back.

"We went up 24 and their demeanor never changed," Randy Foye said. "They were just always business."

Potential scheduling conflict

There is a potential for a scheduling conflict when the Clippers and Los Angeles Kings both play playoff games Sunday at Staples Center.

The Kings are scheduled to play the Phoenix Coyotes at noon in Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals with an opportunity to go to the Stanley Cup finals, and the Clippers are scheduled to play the Spurs at 7:30 p.m. in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals.

If the Kings go past one overtime period, the start of the Clippers' game could be delayed — possibly to 8 p.m.

Any decision about delaying the game would be made by the NBA and TNT, in conjunction with the Clippers and Spurs.

It takes about 2 hours 15 minutes to convert the ice to a basketball court.

If the Kings go into a second or third overtime, the start of the Clippers-Spurs game could be delayed even further, or even could be pushed to Monday night, an NBA official said Saturday.

It was suggested that fans attending the Clippers-Spurs game listen to the radio to dictate what time the game will begin.

Looking to improve rebounding

Rebounding has been an issue with the Clippers all season and it is again in the playoffs.

During the regular season, the Clippers were ranked 22nd in rebounding in the NBA, averaging just 39.7 per game.

Entering Saturday's game, the Clippers were the worst rebounding team in the playoffs, getting just 36.1 per game.

"We've got to get bodies on guys," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "And that's everybody. It's not just the big guys. The guards have to get in there and rebound the ball."

Before Saturday's game, the Clippers had been outrebounded in seven of their nine playoff games.

In Game 3 against the Spurs, the Clippers won in the rebounding department, 44-41, after being outrebounded in the first two games.

"When the ball goes up, you've got to find the guy first," Del Negro said. "Sometimes we tend to use our athleticism a little bit too much instead of actually using the fundamentals and techniques. It's something that we've got to work through."

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