Awesome Game 3 from the Spurs
After two brutal games being ripped apart by the offensive juggernaut of the Hornets, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to stomach Game 3. It was brutal watching the Spurs get ripped apart in Game 1, but how often is Duncan going to deliver a complete no show like he did in that game? And after hearing the report that Duncan had played with a 103 degree fever in Game 1, I figured that it was just a fluke game, and they would rebound and pull through. Instead, Game 2 was like Groundhog Day -- the same thing all over again.
So I didn't know what to think going into Game 3 -- were the Hornets simply a better team?
Instead, the Spurs completely kicked ass. The Hornets led for most of the first half, but the whole thing was close. But the Spurs completely broke things open in the second half, putting on an offensive clinic and getting crucial stops for long stretches. The Spurs' adjustments -- most notably using Bowen to completely own Peja -- caused a significant momentum shift that allowed the Spurs to control the game down the stretch instead of just trying to hold on.
Meanwhile, his stat line doesn't show it, but Duncan was the key to the offensive explosion, ripping the Hornets apart passing out of the double team. The Spurs were great at bringing it around the court quickly to find the uncontested 3. All the open 3s the Spurs were getting then forced the Hornets to stop packing the paint so tightly, and that broke things open for Parker and Ginobili to drive to the basket at will.
It will be interesting to see if the Hornets will keep bringing the double teams on Duncan in Game 4. Then again, the Spurs may not shoot 44% from behind the arc again, so they may be able to get away with it. Either way, we've got one victory out of the way, and we just have to find a way to get the second to take it back to the Crescent City tied 2-all.