Nothing-to-lose mentality helps Clippers beat Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers' Tobias Harris challenges San Antonio Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge for a rebound. The Spurs centre led all scorers with 30 points but it was not enough to prevent the Clippers beating them 103-95 at the AT&T Centre in San Antonio.
Los Angeles Clippers' Tobias Harris challenges San Antonio Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge for a rebound. The Spurs centre led all scorers with 30 points but it was not enough to prevent the Clippers beating them 103-95 at the AT&T Centre in San Antonio.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN ANTONIO (Texas) • The Los Angeles Clippers were clear underdogs when they travelled to take on the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Centre in Texas on Sunday.

But it was precisely this mentality, that they had nothing to lose after five straight National Basketball Association defeats, that they ended up beating the Spurs 103-95.

"Obviously, if you looked at it before the game, there were not a lot of people saying we were going to win this game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

"But the guys in there believed that and that's all that counts. It was a big game for us. And we knew it was going to be a hard game. You can't ever explain it."

Tobias Harris poured in 27 points, and Patrick Beverley scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, as Los Angeles controlled the game even without their injured stars, guard Lou Williams and forward Danilo Gallinari.

"You see what you do when your back is against the wall," said Beverley. "We came out swinging."

Montrezl Harrell also had 18 points for the Clippers, with Avery Bradley scoring 15 (all in the first half), and Johnathan Motley hitting for 10 points off the bench for Los Angeles (25-21).

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    The Los Angeles Clippers snapped a five-game losing streak when they beat the San Antonio Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 30 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds for the Spurs. Rudy Gay racked up 19 points and Marco Belinelli contributed 12 during the loss.

San Antonio (27-21), who brought a two-game winning streak into the game, lost at home for the second straight time.

The Spurs, who lead the league in free-throw percentage - at 82 per cent - made just nine of 17 in the game (52.9 per cent).

"I think they out-executed us and out-competed us tonight in every way, shape and form," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

"And, we were sloppy with the ball on top of it, so that's a bad combination."

The Spurs return to the floor tomorrow in Philadelphia for the first of a two-game road trip. The Clippers continue their four-game road trip with a game today in Dallas.

In Minneapolis, Derrick Rose had 31 points as he led the Minnesota Timberwolves (22-24) to a 116-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns (11-37).

Victor Oladipo, meanwhile, scored 21 points as hosts Indiana (31-15) won their second straight game with a 120-95 win over Charlotte (22-24).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2019, with the headline 'Nothing-to-lose mentality helps Clippers beat Spurs'. Print Edition | Subscribe