The matinee game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center came down to the wire, with overtime need to separate the teams and the Spurs ultimately prevailing 103-100. Tony Parker lead all scorers with 30 points, and was easily the best player on the court today. The Clippers get credit for going strong against the second best team in the Western Conference, but the Spurs remain the only top eight Western Conference team the Clips don't have a victory over.
The San Antonio Spurs were able to grow their lead to as much as fifteen points after halftime, but a lineup change got the Clippers back into it. Coach Vinny Del Negro went to a three guard lineup in Chris Paul, Mo Williams, and Randy Foye just before Foye caught fire. Foye was 4-10 from behind the arc and shot almost 50% from the field, leading all Clippers with 21 points. With only five points at halftime, Foye hit 21 points before the third quarter was over with a three pointer to tie the game.
It was a back and forth battle after that, which continued into the game's final minute. Chris Paul and Tony Parker lit it up in the fourth quarter, with Paul scoring 17 of his 19 and Parker 10 of his 28. There were three lead changes in the final minute.
Ultimately, the regulation part of this game was decided almost entirely by Chris Paul, with input from the Spurs' Gary Neal. His four free throws had the Clippers up three, and Gary Neal fumbled the ball away giving the Clippers the final possession with nine seconds left. All the Clippers had to do was inbound the ball, but Paul tried to throw the ball away rather than receive a backcourt violation. The ball ended up in Gary Neal's hand, and he buried a three pointer to send the game to overtime.
The overtime period finish was the opposite of the regulation finish, with the Spurs up three with under a minute to go. Chris Paul dribbled into the paint but missed the layup, giving the Spurs possession with 15 seconds left. The subsequent intentional foul and free throws put the Clips down five. A Griffin dunk and two missed San Antonio free throws gave the Clippers the chance to tie with seven seconds left, but Chris Paul's three pointer bounced off the front rim and that was that.
With 11 lead changes and eight ties, not to mention overtime, the sellout crowd certainly got their money's worth. However, with the big first half lead it's likely some will say the Clippers gave this game away. Against the second best team in the West, that's a mighty big claim.
For more recap from the Stars and Chaparral's, check out Clips Nation.