SAN Antonio survived a furious late-game rally by Miami as the surging Spurs turned back the slumping Heat, 94-90, at the AT&T Center on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time)
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs attack early, scoring all 18 of his points on 8-of-9 shooting before the break as San Antonio led by as much as 17. Pau Gasol took over in the third to help the Spurs carry a 71-60 advantage into the fourth period, and held 14-point lead, 80-66, at the halfway point of the quarter.
But Dion Waiters, who started for the injured Goran Dragic, waxed hot, scoring nine of the Heat’s next 11 points to bring Miami close, 83-87, at the 1:55 mark. The Spurs then turned to their defense to keep the Heat scoreless while knocking down crucial free throws to get a comfortable lead, 91-83, with only 25 ticks left.
After another Waiters triple put Miami within reach at 88-92, Kawhi Leonard sank his own pair of freebies before a Hassan Whiteside putback sealed the final score.
Leonard led the Spurs, who have won three straight games to improve to 8-3, with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Gasol added 12 while Tony Parker chipped in 11 as San Antonio swept the season series against Miami.
Waiters had a game-high 27 points, and Whiteside had a huge double-double with 23 markers and 17 boards but the Heat fell to 2-7 after losing their fifth game in a row. Tyler Johnson was the only other Miami player in double figures with 11 off the bench.