As far as the San Antonio Spurs are concerned, age is nothing but a number. Yes, the Spurs have five rotation players 30 years of age and over, but it didn’t matter, as they wiped out the Jazz in four games.
How did they do this with so many “old men”? Spurs coach Gregg Popovich did a masterful job managing minutes and his bench; no Spurs player went more than 28 minutes in Monday’s 87-81 win over the Jazz in the decisive Game 4.
“We’ve been a pretty deep team this year, deeper than we usually are,” said Popovich. “We depended on that the entire year, and it came through for us again.”
The Spurs’ Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were joined by the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner.
Oklahoma City was the only other Western Conference team to sweep, as the Thunder dispatched Dallas 4-0. The Mavericks had no answers for the Thunder’s athleticism or depth. James Harden was the star with 29 points in the Thunder’s Game 4 103-97 win.
Chris Paul had 8 of his 27 points in the extra session of the Clippers’ 101-97 win over Memphis. Blake Griffin had 30 points for the Clippers, who took a 3-1 series lead. They played Game 4 in Memphis last night (Wednesday).
Denver avoided elimination with a Game 5 102-99 win over the Lakers at the Staples Center on Tuesday. It wasn’t easy for the Nuggets, as the Lakers missed two 3-point attempts in the last 12 seconds. The Lakers lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is (tonight) Thursday in Denver.
No Dwight Howard meant Orlando had zero chances of advancing, as the Pacers dispatched them 4-1. Danny Granger had 25 points in the 105-87 series-clinching win.
The Atlanta Hawks welcomed back Al Horford in a big way as they held off the Celtics, 87-86, on Tuesday night to avoid being swept. Horford, playing for the first time since last January, led the Hawks in scoring (19) and rebounds (11). The series resumes in Boston tonight (Thursday).
The Bulls, despite the absence of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, held off the 76ers, 77-69, on Tuesday. Philadelphia leads the series 3-2. Game 6 is tonight (Thursday) in Philadelphia.