Paul, Rockets roll past Spurs for 12th straight win
HOUSTON — Chris Paul had 28 points, eight assists and seven steals to lead the Houston Rockets to their 12th straight victory, a 124-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
Paul became the first player in NBA history to post 28 points, eight assists and seven steals in a game against the Spurs. In the past 10 years, that stat line has been achieved just 10 times — Paul has done it six of those times. The Rockets are unbeaten when he plays this season.
Paul’s dazzling performance came on a night James Harden had one of his worst 3-point shooting nights of the season, making 6 of 18 from the field, including 2 of 11 from 3. Harden had 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists, scoring half his points on 14-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line.
The Rockets are on the fourth-longest win streak in franchise history and the longest since a franchise-best 22 straight in the 2007-08 season.
All Rockets starters and reserve Eric Gordon had scored in double figures by the end of the third quarter. Clint Capela had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Gordon scored 14 points, Ryan Anderson had 12, and Trevor Ariza added 11.
The Rockets beat the Spurs for just the third time in their last 12 meetings.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 16 points. Joffrey Lauvergne had 14, Patty Mills had 13 and Davis Bertans scored 12, all off the bench for San Antonio.
The Rockets jumped to a 31-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 60-43 at the half. The Rockets entered the fourth quarter with a 92-72 lead.
Kawhi Leonard played in his second game back after making his season debut on Tuesday night in Dallas after missing the first 27 games of the season with a right quadriceps injury. Leonard, who has been recovering from a quadriceps condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee, started and had 12 points in 17 minutes, all in the first half.
Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hinted before the game that Leonard and Tony Parker were unlikely to play Saturday night in Dallas in the second half of San Antonio’s back-to-back.
Spurs: SF Kyle Anderson missed his sixth straight game with a sprained left MCL, but he is progressing well and could return after San Antonio’s back-to-back in Houston and Dallas, possibly as early as Monday when the Spurs host the Clippers. … Danny Green started and played through left groin tightness, scoring two points in 19 minutes.
Rockets: Houston played its first game without Luc Mbah a Moute, who suffered a dislocated right shoulder on Wednesday night against Charlotte. Mbah a Moute could be out 2-3 weeks with the injury. … The Rockets improved to 19-1 when leading after the third quarter, winning by double digits for the 17th time in 27 games.
Spurs: Host Dallas on Saturday night.
Rockets: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night.
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