The San Antonio Spurs have been a solid fourth quarter team much of the season. When shots aren’t falling early, they hit them when it matters most. And they did just that once again to remain perfect at home.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points as he led the Spurs to a 108-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT&T Center on Monday night, matching the second-longest home winning streak in league history.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and Patty Mills chipped 15 points for San Antonio, who improved to 32-0 at home with two games remaining on their five-game homestand.
Just a few days after shooting 2-for-15 from 3-point range, San Antonio went 8-for-20 from beyond the arc and used a strong bench performance to take down their Western Conference foe.
San Antonio used a strong fourth quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 37-17 as the Clippers struggled once again without star Blake Griffin.
“We executed what we wanted to do a little bit better in the second half,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Popovich previously had said this current five-game homestand against playoff bound teams would serve as a five-part ‘final exam.’ Well, so far the Silver and Black have passed three of the five, defeating the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and now the Clippers. Their biggest test will be at the end of the week when the scorching Golden State Warriors visit.
“It’s great in the sense that it brings the playoffs a little earlier than usual,” Ginobili said. “We probably don’t have the urgency to win that some of the other teams have.”
Los Angeles (42-24) was led by Chris Paul’s 22 points, with 18 coming in the first half. DeAndre Jordan added 16 and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost two straight.
“The first unit did everything in their power,” Clippers guard Austin Rivers said. “Our second unit, we didn’t play well tonight. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s disappointing because obviously everybody in the second unit feels like it’s our fault. Whether that’s true or not, that’s the way we feel.”
The Spurs are now 57-10 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.