Spurs (1-0) vs. Kings (1-0)
Tipoff: 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Sacramento, Calif.
Spurs’ last game: Won 129-100, at Golden State, Tuesday
Kings’ last game: Won 113-94, at Phoenix, Wednesday
Noteworthy: First game at Golden 1 Center, Kings’ new arena
SAN ANTONIO – The new-look Spurs got the post-Tim Duncan era off to a rousing start on the road Tuesday night, rolling to a rout of the two-time defending Western Conference champion Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard was outstanding on both ends of the court, scoring a career-high 35 points and adding five rebounds, three assists, and five steals. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 26 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, and swingman Jonathon Simmons came off the bench and gave the Silver and Black a turbo boost with 20 points.
Sparked by Leonard (18) and Simmons (15), the Spurs led 64-46 at the half. Simmons, who hit 6 of 6 shots in the first two quarters, punctuated his first-half performance with a 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer.
The Silver and Black were the aggressors on both ends of the court from the get-go, outrebounding the Warriors 64-41 and making 23 of 26 free throws. San Antonio outrebounded Golden State 21-8 on the offensive glass.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, to lead Sacramento to its season-opening victory at Phoenix on Wednesday night. Cousins, an All-Star center, had 16 points in the third quarter on only seven field-goal attempts.
Thursday night’s clash will mark the first regular-season game for the Kings at their new downtown arena, Golden 1 Center.
Next up for Spurs: vs. New Orleans, Saturday, 7 p.m., AT&T Center
Next up for Kings: vs. Minnesota, Saturday, 9:30 p.m., Golden 1 Center
Tip-ins: Golden State went a league-record 24-0 last season before losing on Dec. 12. The Warriors went on to finish 73-9, setting a league mark for most victories in a season . . . Led by Simmons, the Spurs’ bench outscored Golden State’s reserves 54-16. Patty Mills (11) and Manu Ginobili (10) were the other Silver and Black backups scoring in double figures. Mills was 3 of 5 from 3-point range . . . Leonard and Aldridge were the only Spurs starters who scored in double digits. They finished with nearly identical shooting numbers, Aldridge making 10 of 20 attempts and Leonard 10 of 21. Simmons made 8 of 14 shots, 3 of 5 from the 3-point line . . . The Silver and Black shot 50 percent (12/24) from the 3-point line in their win over the Warriors.
(© 2016 KENS)