It was an epic battle in LA and it’ll be a shame to see either of these two teams go home early. 39-year-old Tim Duncan, the superstar Spurs enigma who’s aging like a Chateau Margaux, had 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. (It’s the 102nd time in his career he’s recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game. Wow.) Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 in a game decided in the final seconds.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said afterward “I thought we got some tough calls tonight. Brutal calls.” That may be true, even at home, but the difference in this game wasn’t just Duncan’s time machine or the referees. The difference was simply this: the Clippers shot 1-of-14 from the 3-point arc. That’s 7%. If they shoot even 20%, well below their average, this game isn’t close enough for Duncan’s heroics or officiating controversies. And btw, Doc Rivers was not talking about bad calls–or no-calls–on any of those 3-point attempts. That’s all on the Clippers.