Aldridge, Leonard lead Spurs to franchise record 64th win
SAN ANTONIO (AP) The San Antonio Spurs got exactly what they were hoping for against the Toronto Raptors - a scare.
Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 33 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 15 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Toronto Raptors 102-95 Saturday night for their franchise-record 64th victory.
San Antonio never trailed and topped its 63-win season in 2005-06. The Spurs also extended their NBA-record home winning streak to start the season to 39 games.
''We don't pay attention, nor are allowed to care,'' San Antonio guard Danny Green said. ''It's fun to be a part of something big, or be a part of history or make history, but we're looking at the bigger pictures.''
The Spurs were tested Saturday night even with the Raptors sitting Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan for rest.
Toronto pulled within four points with 3 minutes remaining, but San Antonio closed it out at the free-throw line, capturing their 48th straight home victory dating to March 2015.
''They're good at closing out games,'' former Spurs guard Cory Joseph said. ''Kawhi was able to knock down a couple of shots and extend the lead for them. He came down and just put us in a situation where we had to foul and they made their free throws.''
Patrick Patterson's intense effort helped the Raptors outscore the Spurs 52-36 in the paint and keep the game close.
Norman Powell had 17 points, Jonas Valanciunas and Joseph added 16 points and Patterson had 12 points for the Raptors.
Aldridge and Leonard were able to push back Toronto's efforts, combining to shoot 22 for 35 and grab 21 rebounds.
It was enough to help San Antonio overcome what they deemed an erratic effort.
''It wasn't very consistent,'' Leonard said. ''Tonight, we had a couple of leads, 10, 11, dropping down to two, four, so we just have to keep being consistent. We need to execute on the offense. When we have those leads by 10 or 11, we need to punch the other team in the stomach and blow up to a 20-point lead.''
Grizzlies: DeRozan has missed only two games this season, also sitting out for rest March 15 at Milwaukee. ... Lowry was out for just the third time this season. He also sat out for rest Feb. 28 at Detroit and did not play March 23 at Boston due to a sore right elbow. ... Wright had 12 points, which was one shy of his season-high, in 22 minutes. Wright was 5 for 8 from the field and had three assists.
Spurs: San Antonio had to return to the court briefly at halftime as officials reviewed a full-court pass to Manu Ginobili that was knocked out of bounds. The Spurs were upset no foul was called, but officials were reviewing if there was still time remaining when the ball went out of bounds. There was not. ... The only teams to hold a lead in the fourth quarter in San Antonio are the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors. The Spurs have trailed for only 11 minutes, 13 seconds of the 456 minutes played in the fourth quarter at home this season.
Tim Duncan won his 999th career game, all with the Spurs.
Duncan holds the league record for most wins with a single team. San Antonio's veteran leader doesn't care about records, but his teammates do.
''He's got a lot of miles on his body, and he still comes in day-in and day-out, first guy in the gym, last guy to leave,'' Green said. ''Same routine every day, lot of energy, great focus. It's tough to do, and I don't know how he continues to stay motivated playing 20 years and winning so many championships.''
Emotions ran high 3 minutes into the fourth quarter when Patterson set a high and hard screen that sent Patty Mills reeling backward in front of the Spurs' bench. Gregg Popovich screamed for a foul, which led Patterson to scream and flail an arm at the San Antonio coach. Mills got revenge on the other end, draining a 3-pointer for an 80-70 lead after initially missing a 3-pointer that David West tipped back to him.
Joseph received a warm ovation during pregame introductions in his first game in San Antonio since signing with Toronto in the offseason. Joseph played four seasons with the Spurs, including the team's 2014 NBA championship, after being selected 29th overall in 2011. He averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 204 games while primarily serving as the team's third point guard.
Grizzlies: Host Charlotte on Tuesday night.
Spurs: At Utah on Tuesday night.