Spurs get 50th win of season with rout of Rockets
HOUSTON (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 to lead the San Antonio Spurs to 104-94 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, tying the mark as the seventh-fastest team in NBA history to reach 50 wins.
It was the fifth straight win for the Spurs (50-9), who have a double-digit lead in the Southwest Division and the second-best record in the NBA behind Golden State.
The Spurs were wrapping up a season-high eight-game road trip, but showed no signs of fatigue as they never trailed and held a double-digit lead for most of the night.
San Antonio led by as many as 31 points in the second half, but Houston slowly chipped away at the lead. James Harden and Jason Terry both made a 3-pointer to power a 6-2 run that made it 94-83 with less than four minutes left.
The Spurs slowed Houston down after that by intentionally fouling Dwight Howard, and Leonard and Aldridge both added baskets to secure the victory.
San Antonio went 7-1 in this road trip and extended their NBA record of straight 50-win seasons to 17.
Harden led the Rockets with 27 points, but shot just 10 for 25 from the field.
Houston used a big run at the end of the third quarter to whittle down the lead, and scored the first six points of the fourth to pull to 76-63. San Antonio got back on track after that, scoring the next six points to make it 82-63 with nine minutes left.
The Spurs were up by 20 at halftime and used an 11-2 run to open the second half and extend the lead to 62-33 with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Danny Green, Leonard and Tony Parker each made a 3-pointer to fuel that run.
Houston missed seven shots and had a turnover to help San Antonio pad the lead.
Aldridge made four straight points to extend San Antonio’s lead to a game-high 31 points with about five minutes left in the third quarter. Houston scored the next eight points to get the Rockets to 71-48.
David West made a basket for San Antonio after that before the Rockets wrapped up the quarter with a 9-3 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Terry, to cut the lead to 76-57 entering the fourth.
The Spurs were up by 15 at the end of the first quarter and used an 8-2 run to open the second and push their lead to 34-13. West got going in that span, making half the points.
Houston used a 9-2 spurt later in the second to pull to 38-27, but San Antonio outscored the Rockets 13-4 over the rest of the quarter to take a 51-31 lead into halftime.
Spurs: San Antonio hasn’t played at home since Feb. 6. … Parker finished with 15 points. … Aldridge had 16 rebounds. … Tim Duncan had six points, six assists and six rebounds.
Rockets: C Clint Capela missed his second games in a row with a sprained right foot. … F Josh Smith started for the fourth straight game. … Trevor Ariza made two 3-pointers to extend his streak with at least one 3 to 29 games, the longest streak by a Rockets player since 39 in a row by Aaron Brooks in the 2009-10 season.
Spurs: Host Detroit on Wednesday.
Rockets: At Milwaukee on Monday.
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