Spurs fend off Raptors to keep home record

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 02, 2016 11:23 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 33 points, eight of which came in final minute, as San Antonio thwarted a determined upset bid by the Toronto Raptors in a 102-95 win on Saturday night that allowed the Spurs to remain unbeaten at home.

With San Antonio clinging to an 88-84 lead, Leonard took charge of the game at the end, hitting two contested jumpers and then sinking four straight free throws to secure the victory.

With the victory, San Antonio (64-13) established a franchise record for wins in a season that was set in 2005-06 when the Spurs went 63-19. The Spurs have now defeated every team in the NBA this season.

The Spurs are 39-0 at the AT&T Center this season and have supplanted the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the longest home winning streak to start a season in NBA history. They are the only team in the NBA that hasn't lost at home in 2015-16.

San Antonio has also won a franchise-best 48 straight regular-season games at home since a loss to Cleveland on March 12, 2015. The Spurs' streak is the second longest in NBA history, but with just two regular-season home games remaining, they will have to wait until next season to try to break Golden State's mark of 54 that ended Friday night.

The Spurs also got 31 points and 15 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan pulled down 11 rebounds.

Six players scored in double figures for the Raptors (51-25), led by Norman Powell's 17 points.

Cory Joseph and Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points apiece for Toronto, Terrance Ross scored 13 points and Patrick Patterson and Delon Wright had 12 points each for the Raptors, who outshot the Spurs 50 percent to 46 percent from the field.

Toronto coach Dwane Casey pulled a move often enacted by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich when he announced an hour before tipoff that starting guards Kyle Lowery and DeMar DeRozan would sit out Saturday's game to rest.

That meant that Joseph, whom the Raptors signed in the offseason as a free agent after he was released by the Spurs, got just his third start of the season in his first game back in San Antonio.