After losing a close one in Milwaukee, the San Antonio Spurs found themselves in another tight contest against the Houston Rockets on a second night of back-to-backs.
With most of their starters logging a lot of minutes the previous night, the Spurs started out slow and trailed the Rockets at halftime 50-47.
However, they found their groove in the third quarter outscoring Houston 25-18 in the period, to take a four-point 72-68 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Rockets started strong in the fourth, and took an 83-80 advantage with a little over four minutes left, before the Spurs made an 8-0 run of their own capped by back-to-back jumpers from Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to re-take the lead 88-83 with only 1:22 left in the game clock.
But the Rockets weren’t done.
Led by Luis Scola who finished with 20 points and five rebounds, Houston used a 7-2 run that send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, fatigue went into play as both teams were sluggish at the offensive end. Duncan missed his first three foul shots in overtime but made his fourth try to give San Antonio a 91-90 lead with 2:42 left.
On the ensuing play, Samuel Dalembert’s dunk gave the lead back to Houston 92-91.
However, Richard Jefferson hit a clutch three-pointer from the right corner to give the Spurs a two-point lead with 1:09 left. The Spurs made a defensive stop on the next play, then Duncan hit a layup to extend the lead to 96-92.
Kyle Lowry’s desperation 3-point attempt pulled the Rockets within 96-95 with 26.4 left. But Parker made four free throws and rookie Kawhi Leonard hit another to preserve the 101-95 victory.
Parker had a game-high 28 points and Duncan added 17 points, 11 boards, five assists, three steals and two crucial block shots that helped the Spurs stay perfect (7-0) at home and improved their win-loss record to (7-4).
Leonard logged 38 minutes in his first start of the season and added 11 points and eight rebounds, aside from playing hard nosed defense throughout the game.
The backcourt duo of Lowry and Kevin Martin had another big scoring night against San Antonio but this time is wasn’t enough.
Lowry led the Rockets with 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Martin added 18 points and six boards.
The Spurs will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at the AT&T Center.