The San Antonio Spurs made it 10 in a row on Friday night, defeating the Houston Rockets 104-103 on the road.
While the Spurs had won all of their previous outings during this streak by double-digits, this game did not come easy. San Antonio had to show a lot of resiliency in the game, recovering from an early 13-point deficit in the first quarter.
San Antonio stayed with it and was able to pick up momentum towards the end of the first quarter, cutting the lead to seven at the end of one, two at halftime.
The Spurs charged ahead after the break, opening the lead up to nine before squeaking away with a one point victory. Houston had a chance to win on their final position but their efforts were thwarted as Tim Duncan blocked James Harden‘s game-winning lay-up attempt with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Now that the game is over, let’s take a look at our studs and duds of the game, along with key statistics.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
After a poor showing in game one of this home-and-home series, Tim Duncan came up big time in game two. The five-time champion set the tone for the Spurs in their 10th straight win, recording a 29 point, 10 rebound double-double. Duncan also blocked three shots, the biggest of those coming in the final seconds to prevent the Rockets from winning.
Trevor Ariza had a great showing on Friday night. Ariza, who averages almost 13 points on the season, could not seem to miss against the Spurs, converting 7-of-8 field goals for 19 points. The former Wizard also added four rebounds and was one of three Houston players to finish with a positive plus-minus, plus-7.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green struggled mightily against the Rockets and for his poor performance, receives the Spurs dud of the game. Green failed to record a single point for the first time this season in a game, going 0-of-7 from the field, 0-of-5 from deep. The former Tar Heel was also atrocious everywhere else on the floor, committing two turnovers and four fouls.
Although James Harden finished with a 16 point, 10 assist double-double, his inefficiency in doing so might have lost the game for the Rockets. The former sixth-man of the year took 19 shots, only converting five, and four turnovers to get there. Those aren’t the kind of numbers that win you games.
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13: That’s the number of three-pointers the Spurs missed in this game. San Antonio was really lucky to come away with the win despite going 4-of-17 as a team from deep. The Spurs, who rely on the three-point shot a fair amount, can’t bet on coming away with wins with that kind of shooting percentage from deep. That has to be better moving forward.
53: That’s the number of free throw attempts Houston had. The Rockets are known for their notoriously bad free throw percentage (ranking in the bottom five of the league) and the Spurs took full advantage of it, forcing Houston to earn their points at the line. The shots fell in San Antonio’s favor as the Rockets were only able to convert 32 of those attempts (60.4%).
31: That’s the number of double-doubles Tim Duncan has this season. With this double-double, Duncan has now surpassed the number of double-doubles he had last season. It’s just a testament to how good “The Big Fundamental” has been throughout his career.