The San Antonio Spurs hosted the Houston Rockets Wednesday evening and it was a game that they needed badly after being thumped by 30 by the Golden State Warriors Monday night 120-90. Against the Rockets last night, the Spurs were the thumpers with a 31 point trouncing of the Rockets, riding a 25-point performance by PF LaMarcus Aldridge who was 9-13 from the floor. Against the warriors, Aldridge was a mere 2-9 from the floor.
“I wanted to be better than I was last game,” Aldridge said. “I wanted to have a better rhythm, try to put my stamp on the game. I was trying to be more in-tuned to the game for sure. I was more myself, took my time, made the reads, didn’t let the double-teams or them bluffing me speed me up tonight. It was important for us to just be ourselves again playing defense, being active and trying to hold teams to taking tough shots and not giving up so much easy stuff. Tonight, I thought the guys did that.”
The rivalry between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs has been a long war with the Spurs dating back to the 1976-77 season. To date, the Spurs have dominated the Mavericks 99 wins to 65. Last night another battle was waged and the Spurs upped their record to 100 wins with a 112-83 whipping at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs will now hit the road for a three game road swing that includes the Suns and a surefire playoff intense game with the Golden State Warriors (whom the Spurs just overtook in the Power Rankings) before heading home for another in-state game this time against the Rockets on January 27th.
The reigning and defending NBA Champions have put the league on notice. We will not go silently into the night. Leading the way into the playoffs is the reigning and defending NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard who has simply been on fire over a two week stretch.
“He’s been absolutely amazing,” teammate Tim Duncan said. “He’s on a tear right now, and we’re riding him. He’s not doing it the wrong way. He’s taking great shots and continuing to be unselfish, but he’s absolutely being aggressive. That’s what we need from him.”
Leonard matched his career high 26 for the second night in a row as the Spurs blew by the struggling and injured Thunder 113-88.
“No matter how you slice it, it’s not a fair fight,” Head Coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “Nobody’s going to give back the win. We’re going to take the win. I thought we played well, but you feel badly. You see Kevin in that chair out there and the other guys that are hurt and it’s not a fair fight.”
Fair fight or not, the Spurs are the hottest team in the NBA and the league has been put on notice. The Houston Rockets certainly know what is happening South of their fair city as the two teams prepare to battle tonight at the AT&T Center and Friday in Houston.
“They’re a good team playing very well right now,” Rockets Coach Kevin McHale said of the Spurs. “They’re the defending champions and they’re healthy and on a roll. It will be a great test for us, especially in San Antonio. They just got done clobbering the Golden State Warriors there. They’re playing well. I watched the game and they’re doing what the Spurs do.”+