Spurs rebound from loss to Warriors, pound Rockets
Jan. 28, 2016
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs were an angry team looking to take out some frustration and they did so swiftly.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs rebounded from their worst loss in three years to bash the Houston Rockets 130-99 on Wednesday night and remain undefeated at home.
"We were very motivated," San Antonio point guard Tony Parker said. "Still a little bit mad about what happened, but you have to forget it as fast as you can and learn from it. Tonight it was great reaction from everybody."
San Antonio has won 25 straight games at home to open the season and 34 consecutive dating back to last season.
Aldridge bounced back — as did the rest of the Spurs — after he was held to five points and three rebounds in a 30-point loss to Golden State on Monday.
"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."
San Antonio had 32 assists and shot 56 percent from the field in snapping Houston's three-game winning streak and handing the Rockets their worst loss of the season.
"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."
James Harden had 20 points and Howard added 13 for Houston.
San Antonio was without Tim Duncan for a second straight game due to a sore right knee, but he wasn't needed as the Spurs won their league-high 17th game by at least 20 points.
After the 120-90 loss to Golden State, which prompted Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to stay it felt like "we just got beat by 74," San Antonio had a season-high 69 points in the first half.
"The game was claimed early," Houston coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. "We didn't draw a line in the sand. We just kept giving ground, giving ground, giving ground."
Danny Green went 5 for 7 on 3-pointers in the first half as San Antonio raced to a 20-point lead at the half. Green finished 6 for 8 on 3-pointers and scored 18 points, matching season highs for points and made 3s.
Kawhi Leonard also had 18 points and Parker added 15 points and seven assists.
Rockets: The highest first-half production by an opponent prior to Wednesday was 65 points by Oklahoma City on Nov. 2. ... Howard was listed as questionable, but played 22 minutes. Besides shooting 3 for 5, he had eight rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist. ... Houston is 10-0 when Trevor Ariza scored 20-plus, but he was held to eight points on 2-for-6 shooting.
Spurs: San Antonio tied the Portland Trail Blazers for seventh all-time with its 34th straight home victory. The Trail Blazers' streak ran from March 5, 1977, to Feb. 3, 1978. The Chicago Bulls hold the all-time mark with 44 straight wins from March 1995 to April 1996.
LOCKED OUT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Aldridge disabled his Twitter and Instagram accounts following San Antonio's blowout loss to Golden State, leading some to speculate he was unhappy with the negative reaction to his poor performance.
Not the case, Aldridge said.
"I just wanted to lock in," Aldridge said. "It's not anything about the game. It's a new adventure for me. I've never been in this system, with this team. I've never been a top-two team in the West, so I just want to lock in on my season. It had nothing to do with that game."
Clint Capela was intentionally fouled twice in the final 30 seconds of the first quarter, including being hacked by Green as he stood out of bounds preparing to throw the ball in for Houston.
Capela was 1 for 4 on those free throws and finished 3 for 10.
The 6-foot-10 center gained some revenge when he raced downcourt following a missed free throw to block Green's layup with a second remaining in the first quarter.
PAGING DR. POP
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: At Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Spurs: At Cleveland on Saturday night.