SAN ANTONIO – It was not exactly a classic Spurs Rockets duel, although San Antonio was able to make a comeback but still lost to Houston on Thursday night, 102-91. The Spurs suffered their fifth loss at home with 22 wins.
San Antonio cut a 19-point lead all the way down to six early in the fourth quarter, 82-76.
That was with James Harden on the bench. Chris Paul hit three buckets in a row, Harden came back in the game and before they knew it the Rockets were back up 12 points.
"There's got to be good passes and then a tight close out, that sort of thing. So I thought they did a better job. So I thought they did a better job. A lot of guys are starting to figure that out and I was real pleased with it in the second half," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
"We played better and had better flow," said Pau Gasol, who finished with six points and seven rebounds.
The Spurs dug themselves a hole early, getting down 27-14 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second half, San Antonio actually outscored Houston by five points, but overcoming a large deficit against the second best team in the league proved to be too much.
"We knew they were going to make a run, especially in the second half. We held our composure," said James Harden. Harden finished with 28 points and 11 assists.
Harden finished off the Spurs with a four-point play with 1:36 left in the game, going on his own 7-0 run.
The Rockets are now 15-1 when holding opponents below 45 percent shooting. The Spurs shot 42 percent.
The Spurs got an unexpected huge night from Danny Green who finished with 22. He set a career high with six two-point baskets.
"I guess for me I was attacking and was able to get a couple of floaters in the paint and get some layups, but that is a weird stat. Hopefully we can keep it going," said Green.
San Antonio needs a win Saturday over the Utah Jazz to have a winning record on this five game home stand. After Saturday's game, it's off on the Rodeo Road Trip.