SAN ANTONIO (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — Tiago Splitter scored 14 points and Danny Green finished with 13 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Utah Jazz 89-69 at AT&T Center on Sunday night.
Green, who hit 3-of-4 from three-point range also collected six rebounds, while Splitter grabbed four boards and three assists for San Antonio (26-16), which won three games in a row to stay close to the LA Clippers, Dallas, Houston and Memphis in the Western Conference standings.
Aron Baynes collected a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard, who is back playing regularly again after missing 15 games with a torn ligament in his hand, finished with 12 points and nine boards for the Spurs, who were 38.8 percent from the field and 47.1 from 3-pointers.
“He always impacts the game,” coach Greg Popovich said speaking to reporters after the game about Leonard’s performance.
“He was the MVP of the finals last year so those kind of guys always have some sort of impact,” he added.
Rudy Gobert paced Utah with 13 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks and Gordon Hayward added 10 points, five assists and three steals in the season-low defeat for the Jazz.
Derrick Favors grabbed 13 rebounds, four blocks and nine points for the Jazz (14-27), who have lost four of their last five contests. They’ve also lost 10 straight games in San Antonio.
San Antonio started the contest with a 10-2 run and increased their margin to 41-25 with 1:28 left in the second quarter.
The hosts led 43-27 at halftime after holding the visitors to just 12 second quarter points.
The Spurs ended the third quarter on an 11-4 run en route to a 66-47 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Green started the fourth quarter scoring 11 of his team’s opening 13 points, include knocking down three successive 3-pointers as the margin increased to 25 points with 7:05 left to play.
Veteran forward Tim Duncan scored 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in the victory for the defending champions.
Manu Ginobili finished with just six points off the bench, but had four block shots in the first half and Popovich had a little laugh about it after being told by reporters.
“That’s usually not his deal,” the veteran coach said with a smile.
Up next for the Jazz is a clash with LeBron James and co. at Cleveland on Wednesday, while the Spurs travel to face Denver on Tuesday.