The San Antonio Spurs could not complete a second-half rally as they fell 111-105 to the Houston Rockets (46-27) at the Toyota Center on Friday night.
The loss was the second straight for the Spurs, who opened a three-game road trip. A slow start would once again be San Antonio’s doom, as they fell for the second straight outing.
”We gave up a million points in the first quarter, they had 19 free throws in the first half and none in the third quarter,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. ”You play with your heart but you play between the ears, also, so we played smarter and harder in the second half, but you can’t do that against a good team like Houston or any team in the NBA.
Houston took control of the game early, as the Rockets led by 15 in the opening quarter. James Harden put the team on his back and never looked back, scoring 27 of his career-high 61 points in the opening 12 minutes.
The Spurs would go down by as many as 19 points but responded in the second half. San Antonio outscored Houston 34-19 in the third quarter to knot the score at 81 apiece heading into the final 12 minutes. Bryn Forbes did his best to keep the Spurs in the game, scoring a team-high 20 points in the loss, including two big buckets to put the Silver and Black ahead by four points on two different occasions.
San Antonio led 100-94 with four minutes left in the game but Harden would score 13 straight points as the Rockets went on a 13-2 run to take control for good and send the Spurs to their second straight loss.
DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 26 points in the loss but the pair shot 36 percent for the game. Derrick White had 18 for San Antonio.
Meanwhile, Chris Paul did his best to help Harden out with scoring as he finished with 18 points on the night.
The Spurs are now 42-31 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night when they travel to Boston to face the Celtics (43-29) at 6 pm Central Time from the TD Garden.