Aldridge scores 22, Anderson gets career-high 10 assists in Spurs' 96-85 win over Hawks

SAN ANTONIO – The Atlanta Hawks will have to wait another year for another crack at ending their futility against the Spurs in the Alamo City. 

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 22 points and Manu Ginobili (16), Danny Green (14) and Kyle Anderson (13) also finished in double figures Monday night, leading the Silver and Black to a 96-85 win over the Hawks at the AT&T Center. 

The victory was the Spurs' 20th in a row at home in their annual two-game series with the Hawks, who haven't won in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997. The Silver and Black's 20 consecutive home victories against Atlanta is the longest active home streak by one NBA team over an opponent.  

Anderson got his 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 1 of 2 from the 3-point line, and added a career-high 10 assists. 

"I think we moved the ball well," said Anderson, who has subbed for injured Kawhi Leonard at small forward since the preseason. "Guys drove to find others and we knocked down some open shots. I think we had 29 (assists) on the game. That is pretty impressive."

The Spurs (11-6) finished with 18 turnovers, but offset that deficiency with 29 assists on 40 made field goals. Since the 2015-16 season, San Antonio has gone 35-0 when it has finished with at least 29 assists.

Coach Gregg Popovich wasn't overly impressed with the team's offensive execution.

"You know, some people moved the ball and then held it, so that was pretty inconsistent overall," he said.

The Hawks (3-14) never led by more than three points, but they found a way to stay in the game. Popovich praised Atlanta's players and Mike Budenholzer, a former Spurs assistant coach who is in his fifth season as the Hawks' head coach. 

"They always do," Popovich said. "You know, Bud does a great job with them. Their record doesn't show it, but the way they played tonight, they play every night. They come at you. They compete. They share the basketball, they do the right things. 

"It's just a tough situation for them right now. But they are playing good basketball, and they are playing hard  for them, and that's all you can ask." 

The Spurs led 24-22 after one quarter and 46-38 at the half. Atlanta cut the deficit to five, 70-65, heading into the final period. The Silver and Black shot 44.9 percent overall (40/89) and 32.3 percent (10/31) from the three-point line.

John Collins (21) and Warren High School graduate Taurean Prince (18) led the Hawks' scoring. Prince hit 8 of 13 shots, 2 of 7 from beyond the arc, and finished with eight rebounds. A forward, Prince scored the last six points of the first half after Pau Gasol hit a basket to put the Spurs up 46-32 with 2:04 left.

"We don't come to work for nothing," said Prince, a second-year pro who played at Baylor for four seasons. "We come to play, we come to win. We live with the results as long as we put 1,000 percent effort 1,000 percent of the time.

"We've just got to keep doing what we're doing and continue to find out how to win games at the end. There have been a lot of games that we've been in in the last three minutes of the game and couldn't pull it out. We've still got to find that fourth quarter formula. When we do, we start putting wins together and that vibe starts getting contagious, we'll continue to win."

Former Spurs Dewayne Dedmon and Marco Belinelli each scored 11 points for Atlanta. Dedmon played with the Silver and Black last season before signing with the Hawks in the offseason, and Belinelli was on San Antonio's 2014 championship team.

Atlanta shot 43.5 percent overall (37/85) and 26.7 percent (8/30) from the three-point line. The Hawks finished with 15 turnovers.

While the Spurs won, they didn't play as well as they did Friday night when they rallied for a 104-101 victory against Oklahoma City after falling behind by 23 in the first half.  

Ginobili said the Silver and Black were "quite inconsistent" Monday night. 

"I think that there is a lot we can do better," he said. "Today we played with intensity, we hustled, we scrambled, but we were not as sharp as we were in the second half against Oklahoma City. There are some teams that you are going to be able to get away with the win with 18 turnovers.

"Most of them are not going to let you get the win. We are trying to improve. We are trying to keep doing better, our offense to flow better. I think we pass the ball well. We just are turning it over too much. Same thing happened in the previous games. It is something we have to improve."

The Spurs play at New Orleans on Wednesday night and at Charlotte on Saturday. Their next home game is next Monday against Dallas. 

GAME PREVIEW

SPURS GAMEDAY: Silver and Black start week at home against Hawks 

Atlanta Hawks (3-13) vs. Spurs (10-6)
When, where: 7:30 p.m., Monday, AT&T Center
Season series: First meeting
Last meeting: Spurs 107, Hawks 99, March 13, 2017, AT&T Center
Hawks’ last game: Lost to Celtics 110-99, Saturday, Atlanta
Spurs’ last game: Beat Thunder 104-101, Friday, AT&T Center
Hawks’ last 10 games, streak: 2-8, lost one
Spurs’ last 10 games, streak: 6-4, won one
Notable: The Spurs’ rally from a 23-point deficit in their win against the Thunder tied their third-largest comeback victory, including the playoffs, under coach Gregg Popovich. 

SAN ANTONIO – You’ve heard it before: It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

Still, the Spurs know they’ve got to have a better start against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night than they did against Oklahoma City on Friday.

After falling behind by 23 points in the first half, the Silver and Black rallied for a stirring 104-101 victory at the AT&T Center.

“It shows that you have it,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said Monday, alluding to the team’s comeback from such a large deficit. “You’ve just got to dig down and find it, and force it to come up from minute one to the 48th, as I said before. Sometimes it’s easier to bring it when you are either down or when you are playing against a better team, because you know you need it.

“Sometimes it looks like we just try get it the easy way, and it’s not going to happen. We don’t have that much of a lead or we’re not that much better than anybody else that we can just cruise in the first half.”

Off since Friday, the Spurs (10-6) get back to it Monday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks (3-13). History will not be on the side of the Hawks, who haven’t won in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997. The Spurs have an all-time record of 33-12 against Atlanta at home.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 26 points and Danny Green finished with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks in the win over the Thunder. The victory came two nights after a 98-86 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Center Pau Gasol, had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks to help the Silver and Black claw back into the game against OKC.

Point guard Patty Mills said the comeback win over the Thunder gives the Spurs something to build on. 

"It's just one of those indications  for us that we can play that way and we don't need to get into a hole for us to play that way," Mills said. "We should come out at the start of games and play that way from the get-go. It's about maintaining that sort of play. Obviously, not the ideal way to be in a game like that, for sure."

The Hawks, who are coming a home loss to the streaking Boston Celtics on Saturday night, are last in the Eastern Conference.

The Silver and Black will see some familiar faces when they look across the sideline to the Hawks’ bench. Former longtime Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer has been Atlanta’s head coach since 2013, and ex-Spurs Marco Belinelli and Dewayne Dedmon play for the Hawks.

There’s another San Antonio connection on the Hawks’ roster, forward Taurean Prince, a Warren High School graduate. Prince is averaging 13.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his second season with Atlanta. He played at Baylor for four seasons before making his NBA debut with the Hawks in October 2016.

The Spurs are still without All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard Tony Parker, who continue to rehab from quad injuries. Neither has played this season.

“I think we all have to contribute a little more, be more attentive, be more responsible to keep improving and be the team we want to be, with or without Tony and Kawhi,” Ginobili said.

Up next for the Spurs after Monday’s game: at the Pelicans, Wednesday, 7 p.m., New Orleans

© 2017 KENS-TV


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