Nuggets and Hornets on tap
The San Antonio Spurs (28-7, 2nd Western Conference) recovered from their two point loss to the Atlanta Hawks (19-16, 5th Eastern Conference) by taking it out on the Toronto Raptors (23-11, 2nd Eastern Conference) with a 110-82 whipping. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 23 as the Spurs held them to a season low 82.
”That was a championship performance by a championship team,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ”That’s the way you come out with a championship approach and desperation mode and we didn’t meet it. It started from the first play of the game.”
Tony Parker looked like a younger version of himself as he weaved his way through the Raptors defense, dishing out eight assist and scoring 15 points in 23 minutes of work. The Spurs were deadly shooting 55% and collected 32 assists on 43 shots.
”Even when he’s not making (his tear-drop shot), guys always have to respect him getting to the lane,” Leonard said. ”He has a vision to see us out there. He’s always drawing two guys and someone’s always open.”
Spurs are led by Aldridge’s 27
The San Antonio Spurs were without the services of one Kawhi Leonard who was out with stomach problems but a surging LaMarcus Aldridge stepped up again and carried the Spurs on his shoulder to help beat the Suns 119-98. Aldridge and company had a rough start to the game as Phoenix seemingly hit every shot in the first half (actually they shot a blistering 67.6%) and took a six point lead into half time.
”They really got into us physically and did a great job denying passing lanes and really gave themselves a chance to win,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”I just think our experience kind of took over in the end.”
The Spurs came out in the second half and played crushing defense, holding the Suns to 18 third quarter points and 16 fourth quarter points. Manu Ginobili scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
”I try to bring it every game,” Ginobili said. ”Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes things don’t go your way. At halftime, we were frustrated with the way we were playing. So, we all brought it in the second half. We played a lot better.”