Spurs end 4-game home skid, top short-handed Rockets 103-91

·2 min read

SAN ANTONIO — DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs rallied to beat the undermanned Houston Rockets 103-91 on Saturday, snapping a four-game home losing streak.

Murray had seven points in the fourth quarter, including a breakaway dunk that put the Spurs up 97-85 with 3:18 remaining after stripping Mason Jones of the ball at midcourt.

Rockets centre Christian Wood had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Jones had a season-high 24 points. Ben McLemore had a season-high 21 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

Houston was on the brink of not having eight players available as required by the league, but met the minimum in the final hour. The Rockets had seven healthy players after Sterling Brown was ruled out due to a lower leg injury, but Rodions Kurucs became eligible prior to game time when the NBA approved the blockbuster trade involving James Harden. Houston acquired Kurucs, Victor Oladipo and Dante Exum, along with several draft picks and draft swaps for the disgruntled Harden on Wednesday. Oladipo and Exum were not with the team, and the Rockets were without John Wall, Eric Gordon, Demarcus Cousins, Brown and three others due to injuries.

Despite being short-handed, the Rockets had a 10-point lead in the first half. Houston built the advantage on 3-point shooting and finished 12 for 32 from long range.

The teams opened sluggishly in a rare afternoon start to close a two-game set in San Antonio.

The teams opened the game a combined 0 for 5. Wood missed his first three shots before a three-point play ignited a 5 for 9 outburst that led to his second straight double-double in the first half against San Antonio.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Brown was ruled out about an hour prior to game time. He had 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes during Houston’s 109-103 victory on Thursday. … Wood entered the game averaging 23.1 points and 10.1 rebounds. … Kurucs’ first attempt and basket came when he broke to the rim for a layup off a behind-the-back pass from Wood with 5:41 left in the first quarter.

Spurs: Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon remains out, along with reserve centre Drew Eubanks, due to the league’s health and safety protocols. ... DeRozan was assessed a technical foul four minutes into the second quarter after punching the ball out of bounds after making a layup. DeRozan was upset no foul was called on Tucker, who defended him on the layup.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Complete a three-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

Spurs: Open a two-game road trip Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Raul Dominguez, The Associated Press