LOS ANGELES (AP)—The San Antonio Spurs put a bad game behind them in a hurry.
They built a 16-point lead in the first 7:41 and remained comfortably in front Monday night on their way to a 103-81 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Since I’ve been with the Spurs, we’ve never had two bad games in a row, so I know we were going to show a lot of pride tonight and play very hard,” said Tony Parker, who orchestrated the rout with 21 points.
“We came out very strong, had a great start and we played like that basically the whole game.”
The Spurs, who had lost by seven to the Lakers in the same arena a night earlier, stormed out to a 23-7 lead on Brent Barry’s free throw with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter. They led 32-17 at the end of the period.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points as the Spurs routed the Clippers for the second time in four days. They beat them 111-82 on Friday night in San Antonio.
In the rematch, Tim Duncan had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Spurs, and Barry scored some of his game-high 24 points in garbage time.
Brand said the Spurs are difficult to defend against.
“They move the ball well, they move without the ball well. They have a post threat in Duncan who’s a great player, and then they have outside shooters that can knock them down. It’s hard,” Brand said.
The Spurs dominated inside, with Clippers’ center Chris Kaman out with a stomach virus. Los Angeles started 6-foot-9 forward Aaron Williams in his spot, and Parker was able to drive often, and Duncan was able to shoot without much contention.
The Clippers also were without forward Corey Maggette, sidelined by a bruised left knee and tendinitis in his left Achilles.
“They’re still a dangerous team because they’ve got Elton Brand and all the other guys,” Parker said. “But basically, we didn’t care who was going to play. We just wanted to bounce back from our loss against the Lakers.”
Williams played just 17 minutes and had two points and three rebounds. Rookie center Paul Davis came on and had 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.
The Clippers’ Sam Cassell left in the second quarter with an injury to his left foot and did not return.
San Antonio had a 78-63 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and both coaches used their reserves most of the period.
Ginobili had 14 points in the first half for San Antonio, which led by as many as 23 points midway through the second quarter and was up 59-42 at halftime. Barry added 13 points.
Brand scored 12 for the Clippers in the first half.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn’t overly excited about the NBA’s decision to go back to the old leather ball next month. “I don’t care. Everybody plays with the same ball. It’s senseless. If they made it a golf ball, we’d play with a golf ball,” Popovich said. … Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said the “new” old ball simply doesn’t bounce straight. “You have to play like you’re playing at the old Boston Garden, looking for those dead bounces,” Dunleavy said.