The San Antonio Spurs have always responded after losing a game. The Silver and Black kept that trend alive as they crushed the Miami Heat and kept their perfect home record in tact.
Kawhi Leonard matched his career-high with 32 points as the Spurs easily defeated the Heat 112-88 at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night for their 45th straight home win dating back to last season.
Boban Marjanovic added 19 points in 13 minutes off the bench, while Kevin Mart chipped in 12 for San Antonio, who won their 60th game of the season.
Leonard was the lone starter in double figures and scored 24 of his 32 points in the first half. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year left the game after with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter after suffering an injury. However, the injury does appear to be minor.
“As time goes on, he’s learning how to understanding how to feel his oats and channel it wisely,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Leonard’s play.
San Antonio improved to 36-0 at home this season. Only the Golden State Warriors remain as the only other undefeated team at home for the season.
Miami (41-30) was led by Josh Richardson’s 17 points. Dwyane Wade added 16 and Gerald Green chipped in 13 for the Heat, who are a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Silver and Black used a 32-16 third quarter to pull away, led by a hungry Leonard and San Antonio squad after talk of giving away a game to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
“They’re a good team,” said Wade. “Thirty-six teams came in here and 35 went out the same way we did. They’ve got a very good team. What more can I say, they’re good.”
Leonard’s injury was officially listed as a quad contusion and his status for Friday’s game against Memphis is unknown at the time of this writing.
The Spurs are now 60-11 on the season and will return to the court on Friday night when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.