SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs were in a strange situation, 1-2 at home, before they hosted the Houston Rockets at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night.
Last year they only lost one at home all season. What a difference the season makes.
The Spurs dropped their third straight at home for the first time since December 2014. The Rockets held on for the 101-99 victory.
It was another big night for Kawhi Leonard who finished with 34 points and 7 rebounds. It is the fourth time he has scored 30 or more in a game this season.
The Rockets and James Harden, who entered the game averaging 31 points a game, was a good time to see the return of one of the Spurs defensive specialist and three point sharper shooter, Danny Green, although he felt it after the game.
"Feeling OK, little tired, little sore but feeling OK," Green said. "It was a good game for me to come back and get thrown into the fire and play against Harden, he is putting up some big numbers right now."
He would have felt a lot better had the Spurs won and he played a little better.
His three point shooting was not as sharp as he would have liked. Green was 2 of 8 and three of nine overall for 8 points, but he showed how bad his defense was missed since he had to sit out the first seven games.
He had four steals, a couple of those down the stretch. He said it will take a little time to find that offensive rhythm.
"On offense you have to kind of get a rhythm, get some touches get a feel for the floor the lights cameras and action, its a little different." Green said.
It was the Spurs defense that let them down again last night at least in the first half. They gave up 63 points and then held the Rockets to only 38 in the second half.
"They got some easy backdoor cuts on our slips, they are getting layups easy layups easy looks at the three," Kawhi Leonard said. " We just got to get better, I've got to get better."
"That is what we have been doing here at home, playing a quarter or two of defense and a quarter or two of no defense," said Gregg Popovich, Spurs head coach.
Harden took advantage of the inconsistency. He only finished with 24 points, but dished out 15 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds, his first triple double of the season.
"He has the ball in his hands all the time now as the point guard, he is one of the best players in the league," Popovich said.
San Antonio spent a lot of time chasing the Rockets. They were down 13 in the second quarter and actually got the lead at one point, only to lose it.
They closed the third and opened the fourth on a 10-0 run to get the lead but them gave it up again.
Even after that they had a chance at the end. Patty Mills drew and offensive foul against Harden with 5.8 seconds left and the Spurs down 101-99.
The Spurs called a timeout and had a good play drawn up. Leonard got around a couple of defenders and got a shot off the glass, the ball hung on the rim and LaMarcus Aldridge just missed the put back, and the Spurs just missed getting a home win.
"It was good play call, got to the paint, got a shot off it just didn't fall," Leonard said.
The Spurs (5-3) will be looking to end their home losing streak Friday night when they host the Detroit Pistons.
Rockets: Harden had his streak of four straight games with at least 30 points and 12 assists snapped. ... Houston played seven of its first eight games on the road. The last team to open with such an arduous schedule was Cleveland in 1970-71. ... Corey Brewer started his second straight game. Gordon started the team's first six games.
Spurs: Tony Parker missed his third consecutive game with a sore right knee. Popovich expects Parker to play Friday at home against Detroit or Saturday in Houston. ... Manu Ginobili joined Rashard Lewis as the only second-round draft picks in NBA history with 13,000 career points and at least 1,300 3-pointers. Ginobili is the 15th second-rounder to reach 13,000 points. ... Green became the sixth player with at least one 3-pointer in 300 games for the Spurs. Parker, Ginobili, Bruce Bowen, Matt Bonner and Sean Elliott are the others.