A new year marks a clean slate and a fresh start. Unfortunately for the San Antonio Spurs, old problems still lingered as a calendar turned over into a new year on Sunday.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, but it was not enough as the Spurs fell 114-112 to the Atlanta Hawks inside Phillips Arena on New Years Day, falling on the road for just the third time this season.
Tony Parker added 22 points and Kawhi Leonard returned after missing two games to score 13 for San Antonio. The Spurs had their four game win streak snapped with the loss.
Leonard had a chance to win the game in regulation with 3.3 seconds left, but his jumper spun around the rim twice before coming out.
“We got the shot we wanted, the shot I wanted. It just didn’t go,” Leonard said.
The Hawks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 29 points, including nine in the extra five minutes. Paul Mills had a season-high 32 points and had 13 rebounds for Atlanta (18-16), who won their third straight game.
Hardaway Jr. tied the game with a three pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation and had the go-ahead free throw in overtime to seal the win for Atlanta.
Student bests teacher: The Hawks win over the Spurs marks the first win for Mike Budenholzer over Gregg Popovich. Budenholzer served as Popovich’s assistant for 19 years.
That was the first win either Budenholzer or Brett Brown had against Popovich since they both left in 2013. Previously 0-12.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 2, 2017
Up next: The Spurs are now 27-7 on the season and will return to the court on Tuesday when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.