Spurs bounce back in blowout win
- Updated: January 28, 2016
That’s how championship teams respond.
A game after suffering their worst loss in 4 years, the San Antonio Spurs bounced back in the biggest of ways. Lamarcus Aldridge scored a game high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the Spurs(39-7)blew out their I-10 rivals; the Houston Rockets, 130-99 on Wednesday night, their 34th straight home win dating back to last year and their 25th straight at home to start this season. Aldridge bounced back after scoring just 5 points in the Spurs blowout loss to Golden State. “Yeah, I wanted to do better than I was last game,” Aldridge said. “I wanted to have a better rhythm, try to put my stamp on the game. Definitely was trying to be more in tune to the game for sure.”
After an embarrassing blowout loss in Golden State on Monday, the Spurs came home as an angry team. Standing in their way were their Texas rivals from Houston. The Rockets(25-23)have been inconsistent this season after reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, but had won three straight coming into Wednesday night. They would prove to be a concern again as they had Dwight Howard back after missing several games to injury, and with Tim Duncan sitting out again for the Spurs, Howard would be a test for the Spurs in the paint. But it was the Spurs who took control in the paint as Tony Parker got to the rim early and often, helping the Spurs take a 35-29 lead after the first quarter.
A big part of that first quarter was Danny Green, who finished with 18 points on six three pointers, matching season highs for points and made 3s, which were also against the Rockets. “The game was claimed early,” Houston interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We didn’t draw a line in the sand. We just kept giving ground, giving ground, giving ground.” Along with Aldridge, also bouncing back was Kawhi Leonard. After a rough shooting night on Monday, Leonard scored 18 points against Houston as the Spurs took a 69-49 lead into the locker room.
Aldridge single handedly took over in the third quarter scoring several times, including one on a putback slam dunk to put San Antonio up 23, and the Spurs three point shooting was just too much as the Spurs took a 102-73 lead after three, and from there the Rockets waived the white flag. “We’ve got to do a better job of attacking their paint,” Rockets center Dwight Howard said. “When you play against a team like San Antonio, they wanted us to shoot jump shots and stuff like that. They can’t really play with us when we run and get to the basket, but when we allow them to set their defense, they are really good.”
Notes: On the same day he was named the head coach of the Western Conference All Stars for the 4th time in his career, Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said he is unsure when Duncan will return, refusing to put a timetable on his recovery “because they never work.” “When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Popovich said. Popovich said Duncan had an MRI and is undergoing rehabilitation and rest, but couldn’t specify the severity of the injury because he “doesn’t have a medical degree.” Rockets forward Josh Smith; who was recently reacquired by the Rockets in a trade with the Clippers, has never won in San Antonio. Wednesdays loss dropped him to 0-14 in the Alamo City.