Leonard makes return tonight
Kawhi Leonard will make his return to the spurs after missing the past two games with an “injury that’s not an injury,” per Head Coach Gregg Popovich, but what is really a minor hand injury. Tony Parker is also probable after nursing a sore ankle.
“We just decided it was the safe thing to do,” Popovich said of his decision to withhold Leonard from Tuesday’s win over the Raptors. “I’d rather err on the side of being conservative than lose him for three weeks because he gets whacked again.”
For the Spurs, it’s the end of a four game road trip in which they have won three of the four and number four is tonight. The Spurs will return home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday evening at 7. The Mavericks are coming off an 11 point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder
Tickets for the IH-35 rivalry game with the Mavericks are still on sale as the Spurs look to sell out this game as they have 99.2% of all home games.
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.”
Plenty of great seats and affordable tickets are still available for tonight’s game as well as for Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Get yours today and help cheer on your San Antonio Spurs!
Bulls take care of home court/end Road Win Streak
The San Antonio Spurs (18-5, 2nd Western Conference) fell one game short of tying an All Time NBA record last night after falling to the Chicago Bulls (12-10, 7th Eastern Conference) 95-91 at the United Center. The Bulls were led by Dwayne Wade’s 20 points but they had five players in double figures and another three players within a basket of double figures. The Spurs were again led by Kawhi Leonard’s 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
”Streaks are a good sign when they’re positive and they’re a bad sign when they’re negative, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t give you anything else,” Former Bulls center Pau Gasol said.
For Head Coach Gregg Popovich, the loss was coming sooner rather than later because of sloppy first half play in a number of games leading up to the Bulls match last night.
”Our opponents have outplayed us physically and execute-wise in most first halves for most of the season, and somehow we pull it together in the second half and play harder and smarter than we did in the first half,” Popovich said. ”We got it to four, then some execution mistakes. That’s the disappointing part, that we’re not a very consistent team and we haven’t learned as a group the game is 48 minutes.”
At Home this weekend
The Spurs will regroup and take on the Brooklyn Nets (6-15, 14th Eastern Conference) at home tomorrow evening. The Nets are coming off a rare win over the Denver Nuggets (8-15, 11th Western Conference).
Plenty of great seats and affordable tickets are still available so be sure to grab yours today and help cheer on your San Antonio Spurs tomorrow!