Spurs stay hot at home, defeat Knicks: Three Standout Players

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Photo courtesy: NBA.com

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs ended the home portion of their 2017 schedule with a 119-107 victory over the New York Knicks (17-18) at the AT&T Center on Thursday night.

The win was the twelfth straight home victory for San Antonio, who has not lost inside the friendly confines since November 10 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Thursday night saw the Silver and Black dominating from inside the paint to beyond the arc to grab the win.

Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Danny Green.

The Good:

  • San Antonio improved their home record to 17-2, the best mark in the league. The second best home record belongs to the Toronto Raptors, who sit 12-1 inside the Air Canada Centre.
  • Pau Gasol continues to play at a high level.
  • Bryn Forbes is turning into a solid bench player for the Silver and Black. He scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting on Thursday.

The Bad:

  • Rudy Gay suffered an injury in the second half, leaving to the locker room and did not return. Spurs called it right heel soreness, which means it will be interesting to see if Gay plays on Saturday when the Silver and Black open a three-game road trip.
  • Danny Green also re-aggrivated a groin injury. It saw him leave the game and return, then leave again. Let’s hope its not a season long type of thing.

Three Standout Players:

     LaMarcus Aldridge: With Kawhi Leonard out due to injury management, LaMarcus Aldridge did what he has done for a majority of the season: dominate. Aldridge finished with a game-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds.

New York’s big man combination of Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis were no match for the tough and aggressive Aldridge, who used his size advantage to draw fouls and get shots over the taller and longer defenders. Aldridge’s scoring threat will only help free up Leonard when the two start playing together on a consistent basis.

    Pau Gasol: The Spurs big man helped Aldridge contain Porzingis and hold the fort down in the paint. Gasol had a double-double, posting 17 points and 11 rebounds to go along with seven assists.

Together he and Aldridge combined for 42 points and 16 rebounds. The pair played top notch defense on Porzingis, holding him to just 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting. For the season, the 22-year-old Porzingis is averaging 24.5 points per game.

If Aldridge and Gasol can be a dominating force in the paint as the season goes on and Leonard fully back in the fold, it will make San Antonio very dangerous late March and early April.

     Danny Green: Despite a nagging groin injury, Danny Green put up solid numbers in one of his best performances of the season. Green finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range.

While Green may be inconsistent with his shot, dubbing the name ‘Icy-Hot’, it is easy to remember how important he is on the defensive end of the ball for San Antonio. Thursday just proves that Green always delivers on either side of the floor. But he can be extra dangerous when his shot is falling.

Up next:

The Spurs are now 25-11 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday when they take on the Detroit Pistons (19-15) at Little Cesars Arena at 6 p.m. to open a three-game road trip.

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