Kawhi Leonard is becoming the San Antonio Spurs closer out man late in ball games. However, Wednesday took a combined effort from Leonard and Tony Parker to lead the Silver and Black to victory.
Leonard scored 26 points as he led the Spurs to a 108-101 win over the Boston Celtics at the AT&T Center as San Antonio opened up another back-to-back set.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Tony Parker added 16 for San Antonio, who was without LaMarcus Aldridge – who had the night off to rest.
San Antonio had a season-high 33 assists in the game. This comes a week after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had harsh words for his team after their road loss in Chicago. But on Wednesday? He was a happier man.
”I thought the ball movement was a little more aggressive tonight,” Popovich said. ”We communicated pretty well defensively. The ball moved. The ball moved better than it has at home all year.”
Parker sparked the Spurs in the final quarter, scoring 10 of his 16.
”It was just one of those situations,” Parker said. ”It was kind of like they were coming back, and Pop is the boss, I just try to do whatever he wants. Just put me in that situation. I’m just happy they went in.”
The Celtics were led by Avery Bradley’s 25 points. Jae Crowder added 15 and Al Horford chipped in 13 for Boston (13-12), who have lost three straight.
Boston used a 18-4 run to cut a 15 point Spurs lead to just four going into the fourth quarter. The combination of Leonard and Parker proved to be too much.
”Tony made it a point that he wanted to finish the game out,” Bradley said. ”You could tell. You could see it in his eyes, you could see it in his play. Every time he got the ball he was aggressive. He was either making a play for himself or making a play for his teammates.”
Up next: The Spurs are now 20-5 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night when they take on the Phoenix Suns at 8 p.m. for their second night of a back to back.