NBA: Spurs surge past Rockets, snap 11-game skid
Keldon Johnson scored 32 points and Tre Jones added 26 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat the visiting Houston Rockets 118-109 on Thursday to snap an 11-game losing streak.
The Spurs broke free of a game tied at 65 in the third quarter by scoring 10 of the ensuing 12 points on the way to a 90-77 advantage heading into the fourth. San Antonio pushed the lead to 111-91 and waltzed to the finish line.
The win in a dustup between the bottom teams in the Western Conference standings was the Spurs’ victory first since Nov. 11. The 11-game skid was San Antonio’s longest since a 13-game losing streak from Feb. 4-March 4, 1989.
Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott added 12 points each for San Antonio, while Romeo Langford had 11 and Charles Bassey and Zach Collins scored 10 apiece. The Spurs won emphatically despite playing without starters Devin Vassell (left knee), Jakob Poeltl (right knee) and Jeremy Sochan (right quad).
Keldon Johnson balled out in the Spurs win:
3 3PM pic.twitter.com/GacyCtt9xX
— NBA (@NBA) December 9, 2022
Jabari Smith Jr. led the Rockets with 23 points, with Alperen Sengun adding 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Green and Eric Gordon pouring in 14 points each and Kevin Porter Jr. scoring 12.
The Spurs led by three points after a Johnson dunk at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter before Houston rallied to score the period’s final eight points at take a 29-24 advantage after one.
San Antonio fought back to take a 31-30 lead on Jones’ 3-pointer three minutes into the second period and went up by three points on a floating jumper by Romeo Langford with 8:16 to play in the half.
San Antonio went ahead 49-45 on Johnson’s dunk with 2:20 to play before halftime. The Rockets then forged a 9-2 run capped by Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer to secure a 54-51 lead at the break.
Smith led the Rockets with 13 points by halftime, with Sengun, Green and Porter adding 10 each. Johnson’s 19 points — on 9-of-11 shooting — paced San Antonio before halftime, while Jones pumped in 17 over the first 24 minutes of play.