San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs tied a franchise playoff record with 13 three-pointers and never trailed in the second half of their series-opening 108-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
There were 12 lead changes in a tight first half of this Western Conference semifinal, but the well-rested Spurs opened up a 19-point lead in the third quarter and never looked back.
Tim Duncan led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Manu Ginobili chipped in 22 points in San Antonio's 15th straight win dating back to the regular season, which included an opening-round sweep of the Utah Jazz.
The Clippers, two days removed from a Game 7 win in Memphis, were led by Eric Bledsoe's 23 points. Caron Butler and Blake Griffin each chipped in 15, while Chris Paul netted just six on 3-of-13 shooting.
"Chris didn't shoot it very well tonight, but he'll bounce back," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said.
Los Angeles ended a 17-game losing streak in San Antonio back in March, but Duncan, Ginobili and Tony Parker sat out that setback with their eyes set on a postseason run.
Despite an off-shooting night from Parker, who made just one field goal, the Spurs looked poised at another title run by hitting 13-of-25 from behind the arc and owning a 47-34 rebounding advantage.
Game 2 of the series will be in San Antonio on Thursday.
A back-and-forth first quarter ended at 29-all, and it remained close before the Spurs rattled off nine straight points midway through the second.
The Clippers went nearly five minutes without scoring during the run, which was capped by Danny Green's three-pointer for a 50-42 Spurs advantage.
The lead was never relinquished, as the hosts went into the locker room with a 57-49 edge and countered two Butler field goals early in the third with eight quick points -- six on three-pointers by rookie Kawhi Leonard -- in a 47- second span.
Another 9-0 spurt later in the third all but put LA away, as two Ginobili free throws resulted in an 83-64 differential.
An 87-72 deficit heading to the fourth was cut to eight, 90-82, four minutes into the fourth, but that was as close as the fifth-seeded Clippers got to the top-seeded Spurs.
"We were sluggish in the beginning, but then we picked it up. From the second quarter on we improved," Ginobili said.
Duncan and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich passed Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson for the most playoff games (181) for a player/coach tandem in NBA history...Leonard and Green added 16 and 15 points, respectively...Parker dished out 11 assists, while Paul had 10 helpers...Griffin, suffering from a sprained knee, played 28 1/2 minutes and pulled down nine rebounds.