Aldridge scores 26 as Spurs down Rockets to go up 2-1 in series

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HOUSTON (AP) – The Spurs played the way they wanted, slow it down, move the ball and keep the Rockets from blasting off in Game 3 and it worked.

The Spurs won it 103-92 to take a 2-1 series lead. They have the momentum going into Game 4 with two wins in a row and taking back home court advantage.

For the second game in a row the Spurs held the Rockets to less than 100 points. 

"Just the overall team defense and effort," said Kawhi Leonard. "I think they were missing some wide open ones and well."

Both teams got off to a slow start. San Antonio needed a little adjustment time without Tony Parker.

Dejounte Murray got the start for the Spurs at point guard but nerves served up pretty good defense.  

He did have two points and gained some valuable experience for Game 4.

"It took some time but this group has been together a little while," said Danny Green.

The Spurs were down after the first quarter but they only allowed the Rockets 21 points while they scored 19.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with six while they held the Rockets to just 25 percent shooting, James Harden did have 9 in the quarter.

San Antonio got it going in the second quarter. The game was tied at 39 after Harden made a layup, but then Leonard answered with a lay up of his own to put the Spurs in the lead and they never lost it after that.

Leonard finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds while LaMarcus Aldridge had his best game of the postseason so far scoring 26 and grabbing 7 rebounds.  

"I do what the team needs, tonight this was needed,” said LaMarcus Aldridge. "I’m always going to try and be aggressive out there and make things happen, tonight I was in a good rhythm."

Add Pau Gasol's 12 points and 9 rebounds and the front line of the Spurs dominated with 64 points and 26 rebounds.

Even though Harden did score 43 the Spurs big lineup gave the Rockets fits. They forced Houston to play a slow down game.

"We have to fight, I mean they were prepared they didn't let us get out on our fast break, we need to get stops and run get our shots up," said Clint Capela. "It can't happen at home we can't lose our identity like that."

"I would say say for the most part that is always the key when you are solid and  disciplined defensively and you get stops and you get boards, you put yourself in a good position." 

Danny Green helped out in the fourth with a couple of timely three's. 

Now the Spurs are in position to take a commanding lead with a win Sunday night, heading home.

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