Kawhi Leonard leads Spurs to 108-87 win over Clippers
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and the San Antonio Spurs wore down the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 108-87 on Tuesday night to match the second-longest home winning streak to open a season in NBA history.
San Antonio won its 33rd straight home game this season, tying Orlando’s start to the 1995-1996 season.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and reserve guards Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili added 15 and 13, respectively, for the Spurs (57-10).
Los Angeles (42-24), still playing without Blake Griffin, lost its second straight.
The Clippers’ reserves, who were without injured Paul Pierce, were outscored 51-20 by the Spurs’ bench.
San Antonio backup David West tipped in missed shots on successive possessions and then delivered a hard screen on Austin Rivers that freed Mills for a jumper from the top of the key for an 82-72 lead with 9 minutes remaining. West finished with eight points.
Data curated by PointAfter
San Antonio needed that production to counter Chris Paul, who continued to confound and frustrate the Spurs on both ends.
Paul had 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting and dished out eight assists.
He opened the game by lobbing a pass to DeAndre Jordan for a dunk and scored 10 points in the opening quarter.
Jordan had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeff Green scored 15.
Paul later drew two successive fouls against Mills in the first quarter, rising up and under when the Australian native placed his left arm near the right shoulder of the Clippers’ savvy veteran.
The Spurs went on a 13-3 run when Paul exited with 1:21 left in the first quarter. Mills and Danny Green each had a 3-pointer during the spurt that turned a one-point deficit into a 31-22 advantage.
Danny Green was 4 for 5 on 3s in scoring 12 points.
Clippers: Pierce missed his third straight game with a sore right big toe. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was unsure if the veteran forward will be available to play Wednesday in Houston. . Paul was averaging 19.1 points and 8.7 assists in his career against San Antonio. Paul, Magic Johnson (19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds) and Isiah Thomas (18.2, 8.1 assists) are the only players to average 18 points and eight assists against the Spurs since 1985-86. . The Clippers entered having won three of four regular-season games against the Spurs in addition to defeating them in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
Spurs: Tim Duncan had nine points, raising his career total to 26,399 to surpass John Havlicek for 14th in NBA history. Havlicek finished his Hall of Fame career with 26,395 points, all with the Boston Celtics. . San Antonio has trailed for only 9 minutes, 37 seconds, of the 384 minutes it has played in the fourth quarter at home this season. . The Spurs have won 42 games this season by double digits, a franchise record.