Kawhi Leonard, Spurs dismantle the Suns late to win third straight
The San Antonio Spurs pulled away late to defeat the Phoenix Suns 107-92 on the second night of a Back-to-Back. The win would mark the Spurs eighth in a row against the Suns.
The San Antonio Spurs offense for the first three quarters did not live up to their previous to games. Struggling for most of the night, LaMarcus Aldridge came up big in the fourth quarter (scoring 9 of his 14 points) and helped extend the Spurs winning streak to three games.
Leonard showed his complete array of skills leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists while Pau Gasol added18 points and nine boards.
The Spurs continued their struggle of accumulating points in the first quarter – but it could be expected as they faced a young and energetic Suns team after playing a gritty Boston Celtics team the night before.
Although the Spurs totaled 20 turnovers and did not play to their potential, Gregg Popovich gave praise to the Suns physicality.
“They’re game, they never gave in… they were tough and I thought they played physical with us for a whole half”.
The Spurs saw continued success from their high-powered bench, David Lee posted seven points and eight boards after collecting a double-double last night against the Celtics.
Kyle Anderson added seven points and Patty Mills put in his own five points with three assists.
Most impressively Dewayne Dedmon assembled a huge stat-line of 11 points and nine rebounds across 23 minutes of action. He has been a rare gem for the Spurs this season providing athleticism and solid defense, but Popovich isn’t ready to say Dedmon has hit his peak.
“We’ll see as the year goes along, he’s done a great job all year”.
As the Spurs are approaching a tough three game road trip against the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Portland Blazers it is imperative that the cagy veterans begin to play at a high-level.
Tony Parker has seen an upswing in his production recently averaging 13 points and five assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field in his past three games.
Manu Ginobili though, continues to struggle.
Bringing excitement and energy with his unorthodox and reckless play, Ginobili has stole the hearts of Spurs fans throughout his entire career. But since the beginning of December, the 39 year old vet has been playing like a 50 year old.
Scoring a mere 23 points on 26 percent shooting over the past five games – Ginobili is not playing like the perennial 6th man of the year candidate we have all come to love.
While the Spurs have raced to an impressive 21-5 record, the schedule is about to become much tougher.
Beginning with Tim Duncan night on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans and ending with the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day – it will be interesting to see how the Spurs play against the marquee teams in the league.
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