Spurs rout Nets 112-86 without Leonard, 3 other regulars
NEW YORK (AP) -- Patty Mills scored 20 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 112-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night while playing without Kawhi Leonard and three other regulars.
Pau Gasol (broken bone, left hand) and Tony Parker (sore left foot) didn't even make the road trip, while Manu Ginobili was scheduled for a night off but couldn't have played anyway because of back spasms. Then Leonard, the Western Conference player of the week, was scratched.
The Spurs announced Leonard was resting, though coach Gregg Popovich said the All-Star forward had a sore left hand, which was wrapped after Leonard was hit while scoring a career-high 41 points in an overtime victory at Cleveland on Saturday.
Without them, the Spurs put seven players in double figures and turned the game into a blowout with a 39-point third quarter. They improved to 19-4 on the road.
Isaiah Whitehead scored 19 points for the Nets, who got more bad news before the game when they announced Jeremy Lin will be sidelined another three to five weeks after aggravating his strained left hamstring. They have lost eight straight at home.
Spurs: With Gasol out, the Spurs signed veteran center Joel Anthony to a 10-day contract. The two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat was with the Spurs in preseason but Popovich said they had too many players and no room for him. ... The Spurs have scored 100 or more points in 21 straight games, their longest streak since 22 in a row in 1995.
Nets: The Nets gave guard Caris LeVert the night off. LeVert had foot problems in college that delayed the start of his rookie season, but coach Kenny Atkinson said LeVert was just getting a night of rest and wasn't hurt. ... The Nets have lost the last four meetings.
POP THE POLITICIAN
Popovich chided himself for sounding like a politician when he said Leonard would be out for "an injury that's not really an injury."
"That's an ignorant statement, wasn't it?" Popovich said, joking that "I shouldn't have done that. But it wasn't a lie."
Nets general manager Sean Marks said Lin's injury wouldn't influence whether he felt any urgency to trade center Brook Lopez, whose name is annually in trade rumors, before he could get hurt and ruin any chance of a deal.
"If things come up that make sense for us to move on, and that's got nothing to do with Brook, that's got to do with anybody, then we'll take a look at it," said Marks, a former Spurs player and assistant GM. "If not, we won't just jump the gun because of this, no."
Spurs: Visit Toronto on Tuesday. San Antonio beat the Raptors 110-82 at home on Jan. 3.
Nets: Host Miami on Wednesday. The Heat have won four straight at Barclays Center.