The San Antonio Spurs were only down their best player for one game as Kawhi Leonard made his return to the court after completing his concussion protocol, leading the Silver and Black to the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA (for now at least).
Leonard scored 31 points as he led the Spurs to a 107-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the AT&T Center on Monday night to match the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA.
Patty Mills added 15 points, while Danny Green and David Lee each chipped in 14 points for San Antonio, who won their second straight game.
San Antonio connected on 16 three-pointers, a season-high in the victory. The Spurs started off slow as they trailed 10-2 as Coach Gregg Popovich called a quick timeout. Following the timeout, San Antonio went on a run and took control of the game with ball movement and suffocating defense.
”I was really pleased that they continue to guard and hustle the way they did despite being sloppy with the ball,” Popovich said.
The Hawks were led by Dennis Schroder, who had 22 points and 10 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17 points for Atlanta (37-30), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
With the victory, San Antonio moved into a tie with Golden State for the No. 1 record in the NBA. By virtue of tiebreaker, they hold the No. 1 seed as of this writing temporarily.
Player of the game:
Kawhi Leonard is the Project Spurs Player of the Game for returning from a concussion and leading the Silver and Black with 31 points.
Up next: The Spurs are now 52-14 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday night when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.