San Antonio Spurs (26-12)
New York Knicks (18-19)
NEW YORK – Kawhi Leonard dropped a season-high 25 points, LaMarcus Aldridge pitched in a team-high 29 points en route to a nine-point victory inside Madison Square Garden in front of 19,000-plus Tuesday night as the Spurs obtained its second victory against the New York Knicks in the last six days.
· Spread before tip-off: SA -5.0
· Score: San Antonio Spurs 100, New York Knicks 91
· Records: Spurs (26-12) | Knicks (18-19)
· Date: Tuesday, Jan. 2 | 6:30 p.m. CST tip-off
· Location: Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
· Attendance: 19,812
· Series: San Antonio Spurs lead the all-time series 56-40 (52-39 regular season, 4-1 playoffs)
· Referees: Josh Tiven, Kevin Cutler, Kane Fitzgerald
After the Spurs found themselves being down by four points after one quarter of play, a 27-point performance in the second quarter helped San Antonio possess a slim three-point lead at the break. Spurs controlled the majority of the 3rd quarter, which was capped by an unusual successful three-pointer in the wondering seconds by Manu Ginobli. Beginning the 4th quarter with a 14-point lead, San Antonio made shots down the stretch as the Spurs won, yet again, against the Knicks and now have won four of its last five games.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
· In the win, the Spurs shot an astonishing 37.8 percent (31-for-82) from the floor, compared to New York’s 35-of-87 (40.2 percent) from the floor in the loss.
· San Antonio recorded a 10-of-27 (37.0 percent) mark from three and went 28-of-34 (82.4 percent) from the charity stripe. The Knicks, meanwhile, went 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from beyond-the-arc and went 14-of-18 from the foul line (77.8 percent).
· Both teams managed to grab 50 team rebounds each.
· Despite the Knicks finishing with 10 more assists than the Spurs (21-11), San Antonio registered 11 steals as a team while New York only recorded five.
INSIDE THE FLOW:
· The 1st quarter saw just two ties and a whopping twelve lead changes as the Knicks held a slim four-point lead after one quarter of play; six different Spurs players scored.
· Leonard found Ginobli for three with just under three minutes til half to tie the game up at 45; part of a 11-0 Spurs run.
· Two trifectas by Leonard in less than a minute apart in the third helped San Antonio take control of the game; part of a 7-1 Spurs run this time.
· Ginobli tried to finish a high-low pass to Aldridge; instead sunk the three-pointer on the unique successful trifecta in the wondering seconds of the third to give the Spurs a 14-point lead after three.
· Knicks pulled within seven after a successful Willy Gernangomez free throw with 5:42 to go in regulation, but a 6-0 San Antonio run over next 3 ½ minutes helped put the game away
· A mini 6-0 run by New York (four points by Doug McDermott) with under a minute to go brings Knicks within seven, but Davis Bertans ices the game at the free throw line for the win.
· Aldridge, a five-time, and potentially six-time, NBA All-Star, recorded 29 points and six boards; has reached double-figure scoring performances in every game played in this season.
· With the victory, head coach Greg Popovich earned his 1,176th career victory as a NBA coach; enough for 5th all-time in career NBA coaching victories.
· Leonard, who missed his first five three-point shots made his final three attempts, dropped a season-high 25 points in 31 minutes of action; his first. 30-plus minute outing this season.
· San Antonio has limited its opponent to 100 points or fewer in seven of its last eight games (6-2).
· Danny Green did not play in the 2nd half on Tuesday; Pop indicated he might have been shut down after battling a left groin injury.
· Knicks starting backcourt outscored Spurs’ 23-6 Tuesday night.
· Michael Beasley led the way for New York with 18 points and nine boards off the bench.
· All five of the Knicks’ starters managed to reach double-digit scoring performances.
· San Antonio wraps up a three-game road trip Wednesday in Pennyslvania with a meeting with the 76ers. The Spurs face Philadelphia inside Wells Fargo Center with a 6:00 PM CT tip-off slate.