Kawhi Leonard hits game winning shot to lift Spurs over Pacers

Spurs beat Pacers 100-99, Leonard scores 31 points

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs, playing their first home game since Feb. 4, beat the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night on a game-winning shot by Kawhi Leonard.

The Spurs returned home from the Rodeo Road Trip after going 6-2 on the trip.

The Spurs struggled early but gutted it out and came away with a win over the Pacers 100-99.

As is the case usually coming off the rodeo road trip, the Spurs struggled to get it going.

"Usually your first game after a long road trip is pretty tough, so you we weren't sharp. We didn't shoot well in the first half and they hung in there, the mental toughness showed." said Gregg Popovich.

The Spurs got a lot of that toughness from Leonard, who had a huge fourth quarter and hit the game winner with 2.4 seconds left in the game.

Leonard was 7 of 17 through the first three quarters and had 22 points, but he stepped up in the fourth going 4-5 including that game winner.

San Antonio and Indiana were basically trading baskets down the stretch.

CJ Miles banked in a three pointer with 2:27 to cut the Spurs lead on one 98-97. Then Myles Turner hit a shot with 1:45 left to give the Pacers the lead, 99-98.

With just over nine seconds left, Monta Ellis missed two free throws that would have put the Spurs down three.

After a time out, the Spurs inbounded to Leonard, he went one on one against Paul George, backed him into the lane then hit a little turn around jumper for the win.

"We had about nine seconds. I wanted to take my time and try to get a good shot off and it ended up going in for me," said Leonard.

Leonard finished with 31, the 20th time he has scored 30 points or more in a game this season.

Not only did he hit the game winner and finish 11-22 for 31 points, but he also guarded Paul George who led the Pacers with 22.

"It's a lot of fun playing basketball like that," Leonard said.

Of course Leonard had some help. The Spurs bench came through including Pau Gasol, who had 18 coming off the bench for the third game in a row. David Lee scored 18 points on a perfect 8 for 8 from the field.

"My job is just when my numbers called to be ready to go provide energy and I thought I did that, it's always easier when some shots are going in," Lee said.

"In the end the important thing is we found a way to win against a team that was playing well," Gasol said.

While Tony Parker sat out with the contusion, rookie Dejounte Murray got the start.

His start was a little sluggish, but he calmed down and made an impact in the second half finding Lee a couple of times for layups.

Murray finished with 6 points and 6 assists in 21 minutes.

"I just had to go out there and stay confident and stay solid at both ends of the floor," Murray said.

The Spurs are back on the road again, heading to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans Friday at 8:30 p.m.

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