Aldridge, White lead Spurs by Leonard, Clippers, 107-97
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White each had 17 points, and the San Antonio Spurs beat Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers 107-97 on Friday night.
The Spurs stopped the Clippers’ seven-game win streak in Leonard’s second appearance in San Antonio as an opponent. Leonard finished with 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting.
San Antonio had lost two straight and 12 of 14, but found its footing against Los Angeles.
Leonard spent his first seven seasons in San Antonio before demanding a trade. He was shipped off to Toronto and won his second NBA Finals MVP last season before joining the Clippers as a free agent.
Leonard’s initial return to San Antonio on Jan. 24 resulted in thunderous boos and a 125-107 loss for the Raptors. Friday’s game had a similar feel.
Leonard received a chorus of boos during pregame introductions and whenever he touched the ball. The level of vitriol increased throughout the game, especially with the Spurs having by far their best game of the season.
Leonard missed his first three shots before collecting a steal at the free-throw line and sprinting down court for an uncontested dunk as the Clippers led by as many as eight points in the first quarter.
Marco Belinelli helped the Spurs move in front, making a 3-pointer and a no-look pass to Trey Lyles for a 32-30 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Jakob Poeltl, who was acquired by San Antonio in the Leonard deal, continued the momentum with four points and three blocks in a pivotal run in the second quarter, including two blocks on Leonard that drew deafening cheers.
Patty Mills’ 3-pointer with 10:32 remaining gave the Spurs an 81-71 lead, prompting a timeout from the Clippers. The Spurs made five 3-pointers in the final quarter, going 14 for 36 from beyond the arc for the game.
DeMar DeRozan, who also came over in the Leonard trade, had 15 points, and Poeltl had six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
Paul George had a season-low five points on 2-for-11 shooting for the Clippers.
Clippers: Landry Shamet missed his 10th straight game with a sprained left ankle. Shamet, who has started all 10 games he has played, is averaging 9.1 points in 29.4 minutes.
Spurs: The Spurs played their 700th game at the AT&T Center since it opened in 2002. They have the most wins at home of any team during that span with 564 victories.
Clippers: Host Washington on Saturday night.
Spurs: At Detroit on Saturday night.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:12 IST