Aldridge leads Spurs past Clippers in Leonard’s home debut
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers 109-91 on Monday night in Kawhi Leonard’s home debut this season.
Tony Parker had 16 points and seven assists in 23 minutes, his second-longest stint after missing the first 19 games while recovering from left quadriceps tendon surgery.
San Antonio is taking a similar incremental approach with Leonard, limiting his minutes after he missed the first 27 games of the season due to right quadriceps tendinopathy.
Leonard did not play in the second half against the Clippers after scoring seven points in 16 minutes during the first half, ending his streak of 110 straight games scoring in double figures.
The 6-foot-7 forward made his first attempt, pulling up from 13 feet in the lane for his first points in the AT&T Center since May 9. Leonard gave the crowd and the Spurs’ bench a scare when he tumbled awkwardly to the court on a contested layup, but he got up quickly while shaking his head over the non-call as San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich screamed at the officials.
The Clippers were without five players, including leading scorers Blake Griffin and Lou Williams.
Los Angeles rookie Jamil Wilson had a season-high 13 points. DeAndre Jordan also had 13 points along with 14 rebounds.
The Spurs built a double-digit lead in the first seven minutes as the Clippers shot 20 percent and fell behind 22-12.
Clippers: G Austin Rivers was cleared to play after suffering a concussion Dec. 13 against Orlando. … Griffin missed his 10th game with a sprained left MCL. The Clippers were also without Patrick Beverley (right knee surgery), Danilo Gallinari (left glute contusion), Wesley Johnson (sore left foot) and Williams (sprained right foot). . Jordan is donating $100 for every rebound he has this season. He raised his season total Monday to $43,000. . The Clippers are 7-2 when holding opponents below 100 points.
Spurs: Popovich said Kyle Anderson is expected to travel with the team on its upcoming three-game road trip. Anderson has been out with a sprained left MCL. . G Danny Green missed his second straight game with tightness in his left groin. . Leonard, Kevin Durant, Jeff Hornacek and Larry Bird are the only players in the past 30 years to shoot 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent on 3-pointers at home. . Patty Mills joined Manu Ginobili and Malik Rose as the only Spurs in franchise history to score 3,000 points off the bench.
Clippers: Host Phoenix on Wednesday night for the first time since beating the Suns by 42 points on Oct. 20.
Spurs: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night in the opener of a three-game road trip.
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