The San Antonio Spurs held off a late rally by Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers to open their five-game road trip with a 116-113 victory to snap their four-game losing streak.
San Antonio got LaMarcus Aldridge back in the lineup after he missed the past three games with a sore knee. Derrick White is out for the foreseeable future after suffering a fractured toe in the Spurs’ loss to the Lakers last week.
After suffering four consecutive losses, San Antonio came out strong as they shot the ball well and took a 36-27 lead after the first quarter. The Spurs outscored the Clippers 27-17 in the middle frame and lead by as many as 21 points.
San Antonio hit a franchise record 20 3-pointers in the win.
Patty Mills lit up the Clippers with 27 points and a career-high eight three-pointers. He remained aggressive all night long as he looked for his shot and 50 percent from the floor and 66 percent from beyond the arc.
Dejounte Murray rebounded from his poor outing on Sunday and put together 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go along with five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
“When you’re a basketball player in general, you’ve got to know there’s ups and downs,” Murray said of rebounding after his bad game on Sunday.
Los Angeles began their rally with a third quarter in which they outscored the Spurs 40-22. Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers with 30 points. Without Paul George in the lineup, Nic Batum did his best to help Leonard in the scoring column with 21 points, while Patrick Beverly added 20.
“In all seriousness it was the mentality we came out with on the defensive end,” Mills said of the Spurs’ defensive performance against the Clippers on Tuesday.
With the win, San Antonio snaps a four-game slide that saw them fall to the Lakers twice and Utah. The victory is also the first for the Spurs against a playoff team from a year ago.
The Spurs are now 3-4 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they face LeBron James and the LA Lakers (6-2) from the Staples Center.