Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Johnson's double-double leads Spurs over Rockets

Field Level Media
12 Aug 2020, 06:40 GMT+10

Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 123-105 win over the short-handed Houston Rockets on Tuesday afternoon in a key NBA seeding game near Orlando.

The win allowed the Spurs (32-38) to remain in the hunt for a spot in a play-in tournament for the Western Conference's final postseason spot. Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix are all chasing Memphis, with the team that finishes the restart in ninth place earning a chance to play the eighth-place squad for a berth in the playoffs.

San Antonio, which has won three straight games and is 5-2 in the NBA bubble, led by 17 points at halftime and by as many as 24 in the third quarter on the way to a 98-78 advantage heading into the final period.

Jakob Poeltl also had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, with Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli scoring 13 each, Lonnie Walker IV hitting for 12 points, and Dejounte Murray contributing 11 points.

Houston (44-26) has already clinched a postseason berth but after the loss Tuesday can finish no higher than fourth in the West standings.

Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 20 points in his return after missing two games with a bruised right quadriceps. Jeff Green added 17 for Houston while Ben McLemore scored 16. Austin Rivers and Chris Clemons hit for 13 points apiece.

The Rockets, who have won four of their six games in the restart, played without leading scorer James Harden (who was held out for rest) and Eric Gordon (ankle).

The Spurs led by as many as 21 points late in the second quarter before settling for a 66-49 margin at halftime. DeRozan paced all scorers in the half with 15 points, with Walker, Poeltl and Johnson scoring 10 each for the Spurs over the first 24 minutes.

Green topped Houston's first-half scoring with 11 points while McLemore, Westbrook and Rivers tallied 10 points apiece in the half for the Rockets.

--Field Level Media

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