Leonard's 39 points, defense, lead Spurs by Harden, Rockets

Kawhi Leonard outscored James Harden 17-4 in fourth quarter

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs winning streak stretched to eight games after they came from behind again, this time to beat the Houston Rockets 112-110 and take the season series 3-1.

Once again fans got to witness another MVP type performance from Kawhi Leonard in the 4th quarter.  

Leonard started the fourth quarter with 22 points and finished the game with 39.

Three of those 17 fourth quarter points came from a clutch three pointer with 25 seconds left to give the Spurs the lead for good at 110-108.

"Game winning play after game winning play," said Pau Gasol, describing Leonard's performance.

The three pointer was just one of his game winning plays.

As impressive as that three ball was right after the basket, he raced down the court for a huge block on a James Harden layup attempt. 

Nene got the rebound, but was blocked by LaMarcus Aldridge and Leonard got that rebound.

"Those guys were hitting shots, big shots, Harden getting those easy plays himself so just wanted to try and get back and make a stop at that point," Leonard said.

"The block is what makes him special," said Gregg Popovich. "Kawhi makes three's, this guy makes three's, that guy makes three's, Steph makes threes, everybody does that, I don't know who goes to the other end and does what he does, not that many people."

Through his growth over the years, Leonard has become a force at both ends of the floor. Along with his improved offensive skills and defensive skills he is developing that killer instinct.

"There were instances in the past, last year, previous years in certain situations shy away or not be as aggressive as he is now," said Danny Green. "Now when it comes down to it he wants the ball, wants to take on the challenge defensively too."

Part of the challenge was spending some time guarding Harden. He finished with 39 but only had four in the fourth quarter.

Green and Leonard both spent time guarding the sharp shooter, Green was going to guard Harden down the stretch and give Kawhi a breather but Leonard wanted the challenge.

"Probably three minutes left in the game and I felt like I had the energy to be able to guard him still and just try to make things tough for him," Leonard said.

Harden was only one of five in the last quarter and missed his last three shots, including the one Leonard blocked.

The fans got to witness another MVP performance, maybe some voters watched as well. The Spurs host the Sacramento Kings Wednesday. 

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