Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 12/10/12
The San Antonio Spurs came in this game with 1-0 advantage so far this season against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets were without starting shooting guard James Harden, who hurt his ankle the night before against the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs started off sluggish in the first quarter with horrible offense while the Rockets were playing with energy despite not building a huge lead after the first quarter (27-23 Rockets). The score at halftime was 64-63 with the Spurs in the lead after Jeremy Lin hit a buzzer beater shot to bring the Rockets closer. Entering the third quarter, the Rockets again came out firing with Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin taking the burden of "captains" and carrying the team throughout the second half. Asik played this game with "Dejuan Blair-type" energy, going after every rebound and out-hustling the Spurs' bigs on every end. The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth game with neither team getting a clear edge and forcing overtime. Lin showed what he can do when given the opportunity and feeling comfortable with the players around him, chipping in 38 points and 7 assists. The Spurs got the advantage in overtime with the Spurs' Big 3 of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan showing vintage clutch performances along with Gary Neal shooting without hesitation and Danny Green providing great hustle on defense providing steals and contesting shots. The player of this game has to be Tony Parker. He didn't disappoint in this matchup with Lin, contributing with his first triple double of his NBA career in tonight's game (27 points, 12 assists, 12 rebounds). Parker has now been the Spurs' main option, scoring early and wearing down the defenses for his bench later in the game. He's also added to his game so far this season as he's not relying on his speed so much as it was shown in this game. He's created a craftiness to his game, similar to Manu Ginobili, where he can spin away from his opponent or add a scoop shot for two points when the defender isn't expecting it. His trademark tear drop wasn't a factor tonight, confirming that he's deadly from different areas on the court. He shot 33% from three point territory this game also (1-3 3FG). With Parker stepping up in a big way to counter Lin's contribution, he gave the Spurs an opportunity to win throughout the entire game.
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