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As if playing in their fourth game in five nights wasn’t hard enough, the San Antonio Spurs only had one of their big three entering last night’s 102-105 loss on the road to the Houston Rockets.
While Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter did their best to try to get the Spurs their second road win, in the end, it was guard play, specifically by Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, that put the Rockets ahead for good as the Spurs continue their road woes.
Before last night’s game, Jeff Garcia noted a few things to watch for in the game.
But as the Spurs head into tonight’s matchup, there are a few things to note about the Rockets and when they are most likely to pick up a win.
Here are five things to keep your eye on throughout the game:
• Houston is 5-1 when leading after the first quarter.
• Houston is 7-1 when leading at halftime.
• Should the Spurs shoot .500 or more, the Rockets will most likely lose since Houston is 0-5 when opponents shoot .500 or better.
• The Rockets are 2-1 on games played on a Saturday.
• When Houston is leading after the third quarter, the Rockets are 8-0.
It looks like those streaks continue as the Rockets lead after the first quarter, at halftime, kept the Spurs under .500, lead after the third quarter and are now 3-1 on Saturdays.
By the Numbers
7 of 23 – The combined field goal percentage of starting forwards Richard Jefferson and Matt Bonner.
16 – Points scored by Lowry and Dragic in the fourth quarter.
6 – Blocked shots by Samuel Dalembert
24 and 13 – Tony Parker’s points and assists totals.
“The great thing about having another point guard out there that can make plays is that they can’t blitz both of us. So I was pretty much just saying, ‘Hey, Goran, make the plays for us.”
I’ve mentioned Tiago Splitter in this space before, but I think now is the time to take him off your watch list and add him at least to the bottom of your roster, especially in a deep league.
Splitter finished last night’s game with 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. While Matt Bonner got the start in Duncan’s absence, it’s clear Splitter will continue to play big minutes. He has scored in double figures in four of his last six games, his rebounding numbers continue to climb and he is averaging close to one blocked shot per game. Aside from those numbers, Splitter should give your team a boost in shooting percentage. He’s currently averaging 62 percent from the field.
Kawhi Leonard continues to contribute on defense consistently. Against the Rockets, Leonard finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot. Leonard recently had his streak snapped of six straight 10+ point games.
In 14 minutes against the Rockets, Cory Joseph picked up two assists and one rebound.