The last time San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went off on his team, the silver and black came out and dominated their next game. It had the same effect on Friday just 24 hours after San Antonio fell to the high powered LA Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 33 points as the Spurs ran past the Portland Trail Blazers 110-90 inside the Moda Center on Friday night to end their three game road trip.
Patty Mills added 23 points off the bench and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 18 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, who have won nine of their past 11 games.
San Antonio was without Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – all missed the game to rest, who pare playing four games in six days.
The Spurs took control of the game midway through the second quarter as Aldridge scored six straight, pushing the San Antonio lead to 57-45 at halftime.
The Trail Blazers were led by Damian Lillard’s had 16 points and 10 assists. Meyers Leonard and C.J. McCollum also added 16 for Portland (13-19), who have lost five straight.
Not so Christmas cheer: The Spurs are playing on Christmas Day for the 11th time in franchise history, but its not so cheery. The Silver and Black are just 4-6 on the holiday, including winless at home (0-2).
Up next: The Spurs are now 24-8 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday afternoon when they face the Chicago Bulls at 4 p.m. at the AT&T Center for a Christmas Day game.