Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs: Live Score, Results and Game Highlights
The San Antonio streak-busters. Doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it?
But it's tough to call them anything else right now, after their thrilling 122-116 win over the Houston Rockets saw coach Gregg Popovich's team snap a five-game winning streak for the second time in as many days.
In a game were the term defense became offensive, the Spurs' experience overwhelmed the Rockets' youth.
San Antonio's big three certainly didn't act their age tonight.
Thirty-year-old Tony Parker masterfully executed Popovich's gameplan, finding his teammates or calling his own number when needed. Thirty-six-year-old Tim Duncan continued his assault on both his NBA peers and the history books, climbing into sole possession of the eighth spot on the NBA's career blocks list. This was Duncan's second 30-plus outing of the season, two more than he had in the past two years combined. And 35-year-old Manu Ginobili didn't miss his invitation to this party, doing plenty of damage from long range, but also finding some shots near the basket.
As well as the Rockets had been playing of late, it proved too daunting of a task to steal a win inside the AT&T Center. San Antonio continued its home brilliance, pushing their conference-leading home record to 12-2 on the year.
But it was far from a disconcerting effort for coach Kevin McHale's team. They withstood a barrage of punches from the Spurs, throwing a bevy of haymakers throughout the night. James Harden battled foul problems all night (he picked up his fifth foul in the closing seconds of the third quarter), but proved why he is one of the league's best scoring threats. Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons did their own damage, but McHale couldn't find enough answers from his supporting cast.
If tonight's matchup was any indication, there's a rivaly renewed in the Southwest Division between two clubs that look every bit of being considered playoff locks.
Here's a look at how it all went down in San Antonio.
Courtesy of NBA.com.
A look at the historic swat from Duncan.
Thirty-six years young.
And the final buzzer sounds. Spurs snap Rockets' five-game winning streak with a 122-116 win.
Duncan won't match his age, but he got awfully close.
Timmy hits 30 with the short bank shot.— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
Pop clearing his bench. Spurs 122, Rockets 114 — 0:10 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Lin tried to go at Green twice in one trip. Green shifted all the way to the baseline with him before Lin threw the ball back up top. With the shot clock winding down, Lin got by Green on a pump fake, but Green swatted away Lin's effort from behind. Spurs 120, Rockets 110 — 1:18 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Leonard getting royally chewed out by Pop on that timeout, preceded by Lin's three-point play. Tough night for the sophomore: 2 pts, 5 rebs— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
Rockets' reserves head to the scorers table. A fast-break and-one layup may have McHale calling them back during the timeout. Spurs 118, Rockets 105 — 2:44 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Parker's free-throw gives San Antonio's big three 78 on the night. Spurs 116, Rockets 99 — 4:48 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Rockets 2 of 10 with 7 consecutive misses and six turnovers in six 4th quarter minutes. Spurs back up by 15.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 29, 2012
Lin's been solid (17 points, eight assists) but the Rockets need a little bit of the Linsanity he's shown in stretches this season.
The question marks on the Spurs reserve frontcourt have extended onto a thin Rockets post.
Tough night for Marcus Morris. He sits 1 of 7 on 3s. That hurts even more with Delfino, Patterson out.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 29, 2012
Spurs 114, Rockets 99 — 5:56 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Harden absorbs so much contact on the offensive end, that it won't be easy to avoid that sixth foul. Spurs broadcasters have lobbied hard for a call on his last few drives. Spurs 114, Rockets 99 — 6:49 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
McHale asking a lot out of Harden, sending him back on the floor with five fouls.
Well, we finally figured out who could stop the Rockets (potentially): Kevin McHale.— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
Spurs 110, Rockets 97
Popovich pulling all the right strings with his 36-year-old big man. Duncan an incredibly efficient 28 points (on 16 shots) in 29 minutes.
When the big man's had his wind, he's looked just as good as the younger Timmy.
Mills slides in front of Aldrich for another charge call.
Are we going to get a Patty Mills Charge Count?— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
Rockets really hurting without Harden. Spurs 108, Rockets 97 — 9:29 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Didn't mean to jinx Lin with that last post. His next trip down, he plowed into Patty Mills to pick up his fourth foul. Spurs 106, Rockets 97 — 10:10 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
First two Harden-free possessions of the quarter: Lin finds a wide open Aldrich for a dunk, then a wide open Douglas for a corner three. Spurs 104, Rockets 97 — 10:18 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Spurs shooting 61.4% through three quarters. And they are in an absolute dog fight, up 98-92.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 29, 2012
Rocket fans hated hearing analysts say that Lin was a superior player when Harden was on the floor. But McHale's decision to leave in Harden to pick up his fourth and fifth fouls of the game in the final minute of the first quarter has those same fans hoping the analysts were right.
Chandler Parsons stating his case for the block of the night. With Boris Diaw ahead of the pack, a streaking Parsons came from behind to swat away Diaw's layup attempt in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Could be a dagger there. Harden picks up his fifth foul on a jump ball near the end of the third quarter. How long can McHale afford to keep his top scorer (28) on the bench? Spurs 98, Rockets 92 — END OF 3RD QUARTER
There isn't anything Harden can't do on the offensive end. He shoots well, drives well, gets himself to the line. His Houston numbers aren't by mistake. He just had a different role playing wit the Thunder. Spurs 97, Rockets 92 — 0:29 REMAINING IN 3RD QUARTER
The modern day Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
Goodness. Duncan has 28 points on 12 for 16!!!— dan mccarney (@danmccarneysaen) December 29, 2012
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