The Spurs haven't lost back-to-back games all season and they weren't about to start tonight. Old rivals Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat rode into town looking to end the Spurs home winning-streak, but the Silver and Black used a surgical second half to comfortably put away the visitors and emerge with a 112-88 bounce-back win. Kawhi Leonard posted 32 points and 8 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action. Josh Richardson led the Heat in scoring with 17.
Kawhi Leonard looked for his shot early on against a lax Heat defense. The Klaw, coming off a so-so 15 point outing against Charlotte on Monday, scored 10 points in the first on 4-6 shooting, including 2-3 from distance. At one point Kawhi snagged a steal and shot a heat-check (no pun intended) three in transition that was off target. Even so, it was great seeing the Spurs star so aggressive right out the gate. Dwyane Wade and Josh McRoberts carried the scoring load for Miami and prevented the Spurs from stretching their lead to double-digits. Heat center Hassan Whiteside then came off the bench and provided an immediate impact, wreaking havoc on the boards and taking advantage of the smaller David West. Once the first quarter dust settled, the Silver and Black held a 26-21 lead.
The Spurs bench was solid offensively but underwhelming on defense in relief of the starters. Miami trailed from the opening tip but quickly took their first lead of the game just 2 minutes into the second frame. The athletic combo of Whiteside and Justise Winslow exploited the slower, ground-bound home team. Whiteside nearly posted a double-double in the first half with 10 points and 9 boards. D-Wade was no slouch either, using nifty moves to get to the rim and sink contested stepback jumpers. The Flash scored 12 in the first half on an efficient 6-9 from the field. A back-and-forth contest became all about the Spurs as Kawhi detonated on the Heat to the tune of 14 second quarter points. Kawow had everything going, from midrange to three-pointers to three-point plays, finishing the half with 24 points and 7 boards. As a result, his team held a 56-47 halftime advantage.
The Kawhi Leonard Show featuring Four Dudes in Military Jerseys continued in the second half with Leonard bullying his way to a couple of and-1's plus a couple more trips to the charity stripe. El Mano matched his career-high of 32 points with 18 minutes of game left to play, but unfortunately that's when he went back to the locker room with an apparent thigh injury suffered when his leg was inadvertently kneed by a Heat defender. Somehow Coach Pop is behind this. At least the injury did not appear to be serious. Once Kawhi checked out, that's when the Spurs really turned up the heat (pun intended) on the visiting team. Danny Green sank a trio of Tar Heel triples while Boris overwhelmed smaller defenders. Even Boban got in on the action, scoring 4 points including a midrange prayer as the shot clock expired. The Silver and Black's offensive eruption added up to an 88-63 lead heading into the fourth.
Boban Marjanovic, after being put on ice for the better part of a month, unleashed his Boban Fury all over the helpess
villagers visitors. The beloved fan-favorite finished the night with 19 points and 4 rebounds in just 13 minutes. As Boban-mania washed over the AT&T Center, Kevin Martin quietly posted 12 points, his first double-digit outing in a Spurs uniform. Neither Boban nor K-Mart have played a ton of minutes recently, but it's great to know they're staying ready for when their numbers are called. The good guys were outscored in the fourth, but that wasn't enough to keep them from cruising to a decisive victory.