The San Antonio Spurs overcame 19 turnovers to defeat the Rockets 102-100 to win their fifth straight, ending the Rockets streak of 10.
Coming off of their last two games where they played near perfect basketball, the San Antonio Spurs struggled with turnovers and poor shooting through the first three quarters.
In the third quarter San Antonio saw Houston lift off to 33 points in the quarter giving them a lead going into the fourth.
It would be the heroics of Danny Green and Patty Mills that would steal the show and help the Spurs win a hard fought battle against another in-state rival.
Green’s nailed his fourth 3-pointer of the night with less than a minute left which brought the Spurs within one 100-99.
Houston right after committed two turnovers in less than 10 seconds to give San Antonio the ball back with 28.5 seconds left and set up this wide-open shot by Mills, who had 13 points.
With 12.9 seconds left, Mills hit a 3-pointer to lift the Spurs over the Rockets 102-100. The roller-coaster ride continued as Manu Ginobili was sent to the line. His play in the fourth quarter was also key for the Spurs comeback as his two threes at one-point sparked a Spurs 9-0 run.
Clutch, bala, CLUTCH https://t.co/5kmno00kYd
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 21, 2016
During their run in the fourth, San Antonio hit eight 3-pointers behind Mills, Ginobili and Green.
The Spurs were down by five midway through the fourth quarter before Houston used a 9-1 run to extend the lead to 96-83. San Antonio would use a timeout to gather themselves in a game that did not over the first three quarter look like San Antonio basketball.
San Antonio would open up what would be a fantastic final quarter with a 9-1 run. The Rockets as they showed during the game were doing what they could to extend their winning streak to 11.
It was a classic matchup between to Western Conference teams that laid it all on the line. There were some questionable calls on both teams down the stretch but that is basketball.
San Antonio overcame their ball security, or lack-there-of to dig down deep and find a way to win.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 21 points on 5 of 14 shooting. He had seven of the teams 19 turnovers in the game. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol had themselves consistent games both contributing double-doubles in the win.
Aldridge finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes, while Gasol finished with 10 and 10 in 26 minutes, he also had two blocked shots.
In the end the Spurs assisted on 21 of their 36 made baskets. It is not how you play the game through the first three quarters it is how you finish it that shows the heart of a champion.
San Antonio begun their road trip with an impressive win against a good Houston team. They now look ahead as they take on another Western Conference foe, the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Takeaways from the game
- Spurs lose the rebounding battle: SA 43 (10 off) | HOU 51 (20 off)
- Spurs continue their hot shooting from 3: SA 12-23 (52.5%) | HOU 6-38 (15.8%)
- Spurs were +3 in the steal department: SA 13 | HOU 10
- Aldridge has scored at least 10 points in 23 of 25 games this season.
- Spurs eight 3-pointers in the 4th quarter is a season high.
- Spurs went on a 21-4 run, was capped off by the Mills 3-pointer to give them a two point lead.