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Final Score: Spurs roll over Rockets after shaky start, 110-98

The Spurs are so good at basketball, that even they're not playing well they make half of their shots.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

After the utter domination of the opposing teams that we've seen from the Spurs during their 8-game win-streak, it was like watching a different team for most of the first half. Outside of Tony Parker playing well as he went back and forth with James Harden a couple of times, and a rare Tim Duncan alley-oop, the offensive basketball that the Spurs put on the floor for 18 minutes was well short of pretty, and their defense was, well, it resulted in the Rockets scoring 46 points on 54.5% shooting (on pace for 122 over 48) in the first quarter and a half.

At least we were treated to Joey Dorsey being intentionally fouled in the first quarter, so that was fun.

The last six minutes of the second quarter saw the Spurs go on two 8-0 runs, 16-2 in all, to not just get them back in a game where they trailed by nine, but to give them the lead that they would hold on to for the rest of the night. In all, the Spurs made 8 of their last 12 and held Houston to just 3-of-11 over the same span. By the time the half was over, the Spurs had made 55.3% of their shots and led 57-53.

The third quarter decisively went to the Silver and Black, 28-18, and the good guys took a 14-point lead into the final period. SA pushed it to 22 halfway through the fourth and cruised to their ninth win in a row.

Stay tuned for Michael Erler's recap.

Check out The Dream Shake for the Rockets perspective. Speaking of Dream Shakes:

Standings watch:

Your Spurs improve to 53-26 to match the Clippers, who own the tiebreaker due to a better conference record, but remain in the six seed. Memphis (53-25) and Houston (53-25) are just one game up in the loss column - a win in Houston would give the Spurs the season series and vault them above the Rockets. If the Spurs win out and Memphis drops two, the Spurs will win the division and the two-seed.

Quick Notes:

  • The Spurs won by at least 12-points for the ninth straight game, which ties the 08-09 Cavaliers and the 11-12 Heat for the longest such streak in NBA history. h/t bet2win and
  • Tony Parker was phenomenal as a one-man show. After his cushy role primarily passing  and not scoring, it was fun to watch the Frenchman drop 27 points on 13-of-18 from the field.
  • Kawhi didn't get to 26 tonight, but he got to 20 for the 14th time in 21 games. Oh, and he swiped four more steals. Ho hum.
  • James Harden scored 22 points, but was just 6-for-15 from the field and posted a game-low plus/minus of -26. The Spurs haven't been kind to stars since Kyrie hung 55 on them.
  • Tim Duncan had the most unusual line of the night. 6-10-1-2-4.

GIF of the Night:

Garbage time saw this amusing series of events. (1.5x speed)

Up Next:

The Spurs will head down I-10 for a rematch with the Rockets on Friday night.