Jackson back in San Antonio

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

The Golden State Warriors traded swingman Stephen Jackson to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday for small forward Richard Jefferson, the rights to T.J. Ford (who announced his retirement earlier this week ), and a conditional first-round draft pick this year.

The Spurs are hoping that the veteran swingman responds to the challenge now that he is back in San Antonio.

San Antonio’s pick is lottery protected, but the Spurs are in second place in the Western Conference so that will probably not be an issue.

Jackson has averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 26 games this season.

Jefferson on the other hand, has averaged 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 41 games with the Spurs this season. He could be in Bay Area in time for Friday night’s game against the Bucks, which will mark Ellis’ much-hyped, quick return to Oracle Arena.

In all fairness to Jefferson, he remained a professional even after he knew the Spurs wanted to amnesty him, and if not for his bloated contract, there  would have been no reason to move him.

Getting Jackson is not necessarily and upgrade, he is shooting a measly 28 percent from beyond the arc this season. But the Spurs, in effect, subtract a year of his salary by switching him for Jackson. Amnesty wouldn’t have been this financially effective.

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Spurs outguns Magic

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

Tony Parker had 31 points and 12 assists, and Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Spurs closed a seven-game home stand by defeating the Orlando Magic 122-111 on Wednesday night.

Tim Duncan held his own against Dwight Howard, as the Spurs defeat the Magic for the second time this season.

Jameer Nelson scored 25 points and had seven assists, while Dwight Howard had 22 points and 12 rebounds on the eve of the NBA trade deadline.

Parker whose averaging 29.8 points in his past four games, was serenaded by chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” in the closing minutes.

Magic spokesman George Galante confirmed that Howard informed the team before Wednesday night’s game against the Spurs that he will not waive the early termination clause in his contact, which would have guaranteed Howard sticking around at least one more season.

Howard said publicly this week he wants to finish the season in Orlando and encouraged the front office to “roll the dice” on re-signing him this summer. The Magic, however, are looking for stronger assurances they can realistically hang onto the NBA’s most dominant big man.

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Spurs whipped Bobcats

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

Tony Parker scored 15 points, and the San Antonio Spurs cruised past the Charlotte Bobcats in the second half for a 102-72 victory on Friday night.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the Spurs victory over the Bobcats.

The Spurs (25-11) bounced back from a rare home loss earlier this week against the Chicago Bulls to win for the 13th time in their last 15 games.

The Bobcats (4-30), who were playing San Antonio for the only time this season, have lost four straight and 20 of their last 21.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds, while Tim Duncan had 14 points and eight boards for the Spurs.

Matt Bonner added 14 points, Kawhi Leonard had 10 and Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter chipped in nine points each off the bench.

Corey Maggette and Boris Diaw each scored 14 points for the Bobcats, who were held below 100 points for the 21st straight game.

San Antonio outrebounded Charlotte 55-37, with DeJuan Blair leading all players with 11 rebounds.

San Antonio, which was playing the second game of a seven-game homestand, never trailed after the first quarter.

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Blair lead Spurs to victory

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball

DeJuan Blair tied a career-high 28 points helping the Spurs to get back in the win column. (Photo via Spurs Nation)

DeJuan Blair scored a career high 28 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had three assists, two steals and two blocks in 35 turnover-free minutes, as the San Antonio Spurs (24-10) bounced back from a loss in Portland, defeating the Denver Nuggets (18-17) 114-99 on Thursday night to wrap their nine-game road swing.

Sparked by a 19-1 run midway through the first quarter, the Spurs jumped out to a big lead and then held on at the end.

They’ve won 12 of their last 13 games heading into the All-Star break and lead the Southwest Division by three games over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

All Spurs starters scored in double figures.

Tony Parker had 16 points and 12 assists, Tim Duncan added 18 points and nine rebounds, Richard scored 17 points, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and Danny Green had 16 points, six rebounds and three steals.

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Hot shooting extends Spurs’ win streak to 11

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball 

Playing without Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili and T.J. Ford, the undermanned San Antonio Spurs needed a spark to help them keep their winning streak going.

Matt Bonner's 20-points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc was key to the Spurs victory over the Jazz.

Behind 20 points and 11 rebounds from Al Jefferson and 16 points and 11 boards from Paul Millsap, the Utah Jazz did their best to halt the NBA’s hottest team.

They man-handled San Antonio on inside points 56-30 and 41-33 on rebounds.

But the Spurs won anyway, thanks to a 47.6 percent (10-of-21) shooting from behind the arc.

Matt Bonner made 5-of-6 three-pointers enroute to his 20 point performance, and Gary Neal added 14 points off the bench as the Spurs defeated the Utah Jazz 106-102 Monday night for their 11th consecutive victory.

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Duncan, Spurs edge Pistons for 8 straight win

Tim Duncan helped the Spurs defeat the Pistons 99-95, as he muscled his way to 18 points and 13 boards.

Tim Duncan had 18 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 33 minutes of action as the San Antonio Spurs overcame a fourth quarter rally from the Detroit Pistons, winning 99-95 on Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills to extend their NBA-best eighth consecutive victory.

Detroit trailed by 15 points in the fourth quarter but came back to take the lead, 83-82 with 5:28 minutes left, behind some inspiring play from Ben Wallace, the veteran big man who set a record by appearing in his 1,055th career game — the most for an undrafted player since the NBA-ABA merger.

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Spurs hold off Grizzlies, snapped two game skid

Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair had six points each to help the San Antonio Spurs take a five-point lead 24-19, over the Memphis Grizzlies after the first quarter.

Kawhi Leonard's second double-double of the season helped the Spurs notch their third win on the road.

The Spurs then scored the first six points of the second quarter en route to a 9-2 spurt and capitalized on a 21-8 surge in the middle of the first half to take a double digit lead 45-35 at halftime.

Without their leading scorer Zach Randolph, Memphis has had little inside presence against the Spurs and looked like a different team from the one that eliminated the Spurs last season.

During the second half, San Antonio never let up.

Some of the keys to this victory was the Spurs’ controlling the boards, sharing the ball better and their defense on Memphis’ Rudy Gay.

The Spurs simply out-rebounded and out-dished the Grizzlies.

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Duncan, Parker carries Spurs past Hornets

After missing most of the fourth quarter in a heartbreaking loss to the Sacramento Kings, and sitting out one game in another defeat against the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan wouldn’t let the Spurs suffer a third straight setback.

Duncan led the Spurs to victory with 28 points and seven rebounds.

Duncan scored a season-high 28 points including a 13-foot running hook inside the lane to lead San Antonio to a 104-102 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night and improve their record to 11-7.

Duncan two clutch free throws with 1:16 to left to give the Spurs a 102-98 lead, but Jarrett Jack hit a reverse layup in a crowd to make it a one possession game, and then the Hornets got a pair of critical defensive stops to set up Carl Landry’s tip-in on of Jack’s missed floater, tying the game at 102 with 5.2 seconds left.

The Spurs immediately took timeout and then fed the ball to Duncan, who seemed to have no intention of giving it up as he went strong to the lane for his clutch running hook over Emeka Okafor that proved to be the final margin.

The Hornets inbounded the ball to Landry for a 3-pointer that could have won it as time expired, but the shot fell short.

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Duncan, Spurs escaped Rockets in OT

After losing a close one in Milwaukee, the San Antonio Spurs found themselves in another tight contest against the Houston Rockets on a second night of back-to-backs.

Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 101-95 victory over the Rockets.

With most of their starters logging a lot of minutes the previous night, the Spurs started out slow and trailed the Rockets at halftime 50-47.

However, they found their groove in the third quarter outscoring Houston 25-18 in the period, to take a four-point 72-68 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Rockets started strong in the fourth, and took an 83-80 advantage with a little over four minutes left, before the Spurs made an 8-0 run of their own capped by back-to-back jumpers from Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to re-take the lead 88-83 with only 1:22 left in the game clock.

But the Rockets weren’t done.

Led by Luis Scola who finished with 20 points and five rebounds, Houston used a 7-2 run that send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, fatigue went into play as both teams were sluggish at the offensive end. Duncan missed his first three foul shots in overtime but made his fourth try to give San Antonio a 91-90 lead with 2:42 left.

On the ensuing play, Samuel Dalembert’s dunk gave the lead back to Houston 92-91.

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Defense, turnovers killed the Spurs on the Road

The Spurs chances of winning their first road win Tuesday night, took a big blow when T.J. Ford suffered an injury. (Photo via ESPN)

Despite a great shooting effort making 60 percent (45-of-75) of their shots from the field, the San Antonio Spurs suffered their fourth loss in as many games on the road after dropping a 106-103 decision against the Milwaukee Bucks.

It was the fourth time that the Spurs allowed their opponents to shoot 50 percent or more from the floor, all resulting in defeats.

Also, it didn’t helped that T.J. Ford, San Antonio’s primary backup point guard, strained his left hamstring after a driving layup with 30 seconds left during the first half of the game.

But losing Ford to injury was only a part of the problem, if the Spurs want to get back to their winning ways, they have to step their defense up a notch and take care of the basketball a lot better.

Coach Gregg Popovich took some blame in the loss against the Bucks saying this on the final possession:

“They worked hard to try and get something, I let them down at the end of the game.”

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