NBA: Keldon Johnson scores 28, Spurs down Rockets
Keldon Johnson scored a season-high 28 points, eight of which came in a decisive third-quarter stretch, as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 131-106 win over the visiting Houston Rockets on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Spurs turned a three-point halftime lead into a 24-point advantage late in the third period. San Antonio was up 97-77 heading into the fourth quarter and cruised to the finish.
KELDON. JOHNSON 🤯 pic.twitter.com/niLoHtrZzr
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 5, 2022
Dejounte Murray added 19 points and 11 assists for San Antonio.
Jakob Poeltl racked up 21 points and 10 rebounds, Doug McDermott scored 19 points, and Derrick White hit for 12 for San Antonio. Zach Collins, playing in his first NBA game since August 2000 because of a foot stress fracture and for his first time for the Spurs, scored 10 points.
"It meant everything. It's been a long road…I have been dreaming about this for a long long time."
— Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) February 5, 2022
Josh Christopher led Houston with a career-high 23 points, with Alperen Sengun adding 18, Christian Wood amassing 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Jalen Green and Jae’Sean Tate contributing 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Spurs led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, shooting 58 percent and scoring 24 of their points in the paint in the period that ended with San Antonio up 33-25.
Houston roared back to tie the game at 47 at the 4:31 mark of the second period as Christopher scored 12 points in the quarter. San Antonio again created some separation before Eric Gordon’s third 3-pointer of the half with 30.2 seconds left brought the Rockets to within 57-54 at the break.
Christopher’s 14 points off the bench paced the Rockets over the first 24 minutes. Johnson led San Antonio with 14 points while Murray had 12 points and 7 assists and Poeltl hit for 10 points for the Spurs by halftime.
The Spurs led 67-60 after two free throws by Green three minutes into the third quarter. But San Antonio reeled off the next 12 points — eight of them by Johnson — to run its advantage to 19 points with 6:51 to play in the period.