SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay added 21 points as the San Antonio Spurs held Houston to its lowest-scoring game of the season, beating the Rockets 100-83 on Sunday.
The Spurs remained fourth in the Western Conference after preventing a season sweep by the Rockets. Houston owns the NBA’s best record.
San Antonio outscored Houston 19-8 to open the fourth quarter in taking a 94-74 lead with 5 minutes remaining. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni opted to take his starters out two minutes later.
The Rockets were without injured Chris Paul and the Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard, who has played in only nine games this season.
James Harden scored 25 points for Houston on 8-of-19 shooting. He also had eight assists, but battled foul trouble before exiting with five fouls. Eric Gordon added 18 points for the Rockets.
Gay scored six points in two minutes bridging the first and second quarters, including what became a four-point play. Gay rebounded his own missed free throw after making the first and was fouled on a layup. He made the ensuing free throw.
Gay later blocked a shot and then raced downcourt for a slam dunk that brought a thunderous response from the home crowd and led to a timeout by D’Antoni.
Dejounte Murray had 13 points and six rebounds for the Spurs. Murray scored four of his first six points against Harden, driving twice past the Rockets star for a layup.
Rockets: Houston’s previous low point total came in a 103-89 loss to Memphis on Oct. 28. . Paul missed the game with a sore left leg. D’Antoni said the star guard is “not quite there but looking very good for Tuesday” against Washington. . P.J. Tucker remained in the game despite suffering two heavy blows in the first half. Tucker lay on the floor for about a minute after taking an elbow to the top of the head on a failed lob to Aldridge that went out of bounds. Tucker rose with some assistance but remained in the game following a timeout with 3 minutes left in the first half. Two minutes later, Tucker crashed to the floor after Patty Mills bumped into his legs as he went for a rebound. Tucker slammed the ball to court and remained on all fours for less than a minute before rising to his feet. . Gerald Green tweaked his right ankle with about two minutes left in the first half while scrambling for a loose ball. Green shoved Danny Green to force a stoppage and exit the game, gingerly walking on his right ankle. Gerald Green played 14 minutes in the second half.
Spurs: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he is unsure when Leonard and “his group” will clear the forward to play as Leonard continues his rehabilitation in New York with his own team of doctors.
Rockets: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
Spurs: Visit Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.