LaMarcus Aldridge knew he needed to help Kawhi Leonard if he wants to advance to his first ever Western Conference Finals. After scoring a playoff career low in Game 1, he has been nothing but successful. However, Friday night in Houston was his best performance yet.
Aldridge scored 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting to help lead the Spurs to a 103-92 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals inside the Toyota Center.
Kawhi Leonard added 26 points and 10 rebounds. Patty Mills added 15 off the bench and Pau Gasol chipped in 12 for San Antonio, who played their first playoff game without Tony Parker in 16 years.
”I do what the team needs,” Aldridge said. ”Tonight this was needed and I did it. So I’m always going to try to be aggressive out there and try to make things happen.”
Since scoring just four points in the Game 1 blowout, Aldridge has averaged 19.5 points in two games and it was his best game since mid March.
The Rockets were led by James Harden’s 43 points, but he did not have much help. Trevor Ariza added 17 points, but Ryan Anderson scored just two points and did not make a field goal on four attempts.
”We had several opportunities,” Harden said. ”As a unit we couldn’t get it going consistently.”
Player of the Game:
LaMarcus Aldridge is Project Spurs’ Player of the Game. His 26 points were his best of the playoffs and San Antonio fed him early and often. He and Leonard combined to score 52 of the Spurs’ 103 points. If Aldridge can keep up this level of play, it will take the pressure off Leonard going forward.
Up next: The Spurs lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 and will look to take a commanding series lead in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday night at 8 p.m. inside the Toyota Center.