Beyond the Box Score: Red Hot Rockets Shoot Past Spurs early, Win 12th Game in a Row – 124-109

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during the preseason game against the Houston Rockets on October 13, 2017 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

 

NBA Final1234F
San Antonio Spurs (19-10)16272937109
Houston Rockets (23-4)31293232124

The NBA’s winningest team of the 2017-18 season got another win as Chris Paul and James Harden carried the Houston Rockets, who have scored 105+ points for the 20th consecutive game, to a double-digit victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night inside the Toyota Center.

OFFICIAL BOX SCORE  

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THE BASICS

  • Online sportsbook spread before tip-off: Houston -7.5
  • Score: San Antonio Spurs 109, Houston Rockets 124
  • Records: Spurs (19-10) | Rockets (23-4)
  • Date: Friday, Dec. 15 | 8:30 p.m. CST tip-off
  • Location: Toyota Center | Houston, Texas.
  • Series: San Antonio Spurs lead the all-time series 115-96 (109-86 regular season, 6-10 playoffs)
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TURNING POINT:

A layup by LaMarcus Aldridge with 8:24 remaining in the 1st quarter pulled the Spurs within one, 8-9 of Houston. However, this would be as close as San Antonio would come, as the Rockets controlled the majority of the rest of the game en route to their 15-point victory Friday night; outscoring San Antonio 92-72 through the first three quarters.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Despite the loss, the Spurs shot better than Houston all around; shooting 48.9 percent (46-for-94) from the floor, compared to Houston’s 43-of-91 (47.3 percent) in the win.
  • San Antonio shot 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from three in the loss and went 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from the charity stripe. The Rockets, meanwhile, went 18-of-50 (36.0 percent) from beyond-the-arc and went 20-of-25 from the foul line (80.0 percent).
  • The Spurs gave up 38+ points in the paint for the fourth consecutive game as Houston finished with 42 points in the paint on Friday; San Antonio recorded 64 points in the paint.
  • San Antonio finished with 22 assists as a team on the night, compared to the Rockets’ 17 team assists.

INSIDE THE FLOW:

  • As the Rockets started the game with a 31-16 lead after one quarter of play, the Spurs failed to gain the lead in an entire game for the first time this year.
  • With 3:42 left in the first half, Bryn Forbes gave the Spurs their first made three-pointer of the game, while San Antonio missed their first 10 three-point attempts.
  • The Spurs ended the first half on a 14-5 run, five of which were recorded by Kawhi Leonard in a span of 40 seconds on back-to-back buckets.
  • The Rockets held the Spurs scoreless for nearly five minutes in the third quarter, as Houston went on a 9-0 run to take the 73-49 lead midway through the third quarter.
  • The Spurs outscored the Rockets 37-32 in the fourth quarter; the most points in one quarter since the 4th quarter of San Antonio’s game against Dallas last month (November 27, 2017; 38 points).

NOTABLES:

  • Perennial NBA All-Star Kawhi Leonard registered 12 points on 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) shooting, four rebounds, two steals, one assist in just his second game back from his quad injury. Leonard only played in two quarters.
  • LaMarcus Aldrdige recorded 16 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the floor and a team-high six boards.
  • Veteran center/forward Joffrey Lauvergne finished with 14 points in 15 minutes off the bench; shooting an efficient 7-of-8 from the floor (87.5 percent).
  • Aldridge was held under 20 points for the first time in four games. He has reached double-figure scoring performances in all 27 games having played in this season.
  • The Rockets’ starting backcourt outscored the Spurs starting backcourt 56-4.

UP NEXT:

  • San Antonio looks to end its two-game skid, and more importantly, avenge a loss from Dallas from this past Tuesday when the Spurs host the Mavericks on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8:30 p.m. CST.

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