Spurs Avoid Three-Game Skid, Beats Houston In OT
After losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs got themselves out of the hole, exacted revenge against the Houston Rockets, and continued their winning streak at home with a 101-95 victory over their Texas rival.
The Spurs needed five more minutes to secure an unblemished record at home with 7-0. Offensively, Tony Parker took the lead with 28 points and 8 assists. On the other end of the floor, Tim Duncan came back to his typical, old defensive self, gathering 8 boards, swatting the ball twice and stealing it thrice, and still contributing 17 points to the Spurs’ winning cause. He also passed Larry Bird in the all-time scoring list after making a free-throw at the second half. He came into the game just 10 points shy of the former Boston Celtic legend’s record. Duncan’s role was most evident at overtime, with 1:18 remaining, where he blocked a shot which led to a fast break and a three-point dagger from Richard Jefferson, ultimately sealing the game for the Spurs.
The road, however, has not been very cooperating with San Antonio, as they have yet to win a game away from the AT&T Center. They still have the luxury of playing two more home games, against Portland on Friday and Phoenix on Sunday, just before they hit the road again and face the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Already missing the services of injured Manu Ginobili, the Spurs lost the just-sizzling TJ Ford to a torn left hamstring during their loss to Milwaukee the other night. He, too, will be missing four to six weeks of action. The losses prompted coach Gregg Popovich to make some adjustments in his starting line-up, with Kawhi Leonard starting in place of Gary Neal, who goes back to bench duties. Coach Pop also recalled Corey Joseph and Malcolm Thomas from the D-League to expand further their thinning bench line-up.
Kyle Lowry led the Rockets with 22 points and 7 assists, while Luis Scola had 20 points and just 5 boards.
Having stayed in the number two spot for two weeks, the Spurs slid down the standings to number 4 with 7 wins and 4 losses. Houston, as of this moment is at the cellar of the standings in the West with 3-7.