Houston at San Antonio

Spurs 119, Rockets 102

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN ANTONIO -- The question for Manu Ginobili, who knows a thing or two about carrying the San Antonio Spurs on his sore back: Where would the team be without second-year guard George Hill?

"Probably five more wins, six ..." Ginobili joked. "Seven, tops."

Western Conference
SeedTeamGB
1o-Dallas-
2x-Denver-
3x-Golden State-
4x-Houston-
5y-L.A. Clippers-
6x-L.A. Lakers-
7x-Memphis-
8o-Minnesota-
Still alive
10z-Oklahoma City-
14y-San Antonio-
Eliminated
9o-New Orleans-
11o-Phoenix-
12o-Portland-
13o-Sacramento-
15o-Utah-
Complete Playoff Race

Hill, who has filled in for the Spurs at point guard since Tony Parker's early March injury, showed his true value Wednesday night by scoring a career-high 30 points and leading two second-half pushes that helped send San Antonio past the Houston Rockets 119-102.

"He's got some big shoes to fill without Tony playing," Ginobili said of Hill, who added seven assists and five steals. "He's doing a great job of getting the team to play, scoring, playing 'D' against the best opponents. He's been huge for us."

Ginobili, who bounced back from back spasms that caused him to miss Monday's loss at New Jersey, had 18 points and 10 assists. Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

But Hill stole the show, particularly after halftime. He was 4 for 5 from the field and added three free throws for an 11-point third quarter as San Antonio extended a five-point halftime lead to 14 heading into the fourth.

In the fourth, after Houston had closed within eight, Hill scored seven points in a decisive 13-2 San Antonio run.

"The whole thing was just being aggressive today and taking what they gave me," said Hill, who was 11 for 15 from the field. "I didn't know I was going to come into the game and score 30."

The Spurs remained in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

The injury-depleted Rockets' faltering playoff hopes took another hit with their fifth loss in six games.

"Our defense -- not making excuses; it's a fact of life -- we're not the same team that we were before," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We don't have anyone at the basket that challenges anybody and we're playing a lot of young guys. But that doesn't mean we can't get better. Right now we have some guys that put there worth in the offensive end and when things break down they don't fall back on the defense."

Despite shooting 76.2 percent from the field in the first quarter and 62.5 percent for the first half, it took a while for the Spurs to shake the Rockets. San Antonio led 34-27 after the opening period and 64-59 at the break as Houston used a 12-4 edge in second-chance points to stay close.

Hill and Richard Jefferson, who finished the game with 19 points, helped San Antonio gain some breathing room in the third quarter. They combined for 16 points as the Spurs pushed their lead to 92-78 entering the final quarter.

"[Hill is] more and more confident offensively," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's slowly starting to try and take charge on the court and read situations -- who's hot, who's being guarded by who, what's the time on the clock, what's the game situation. That's tough to do for somebody who hasn't been a point guard for very long."

Aaron Brooks, who came in averaging 22 points against the Spurs, scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half for Houston.

"We just have to do a better job at playing defense," Brooks said. "We haven't come into our own as far being able to outscore a team.

"[Hill] played an excellent game. He hit the shots when he was open, and he got out on the break and hit some shots. But Ginobili creates so much conflict for us when he gets in the penetration and kicks out."

Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry scored 17 points apiece for Houston.

Notes

In addition to Yao Ming, out all season after foot surgery, the Rockets played without Kevin Martin (shoulder sprain), Shane Battier (MCL sprain), David Andersen (sore lower back) and Jared Jeffries (strained Achilles'). ... Spurs G Roger Mason Jr., who left Monday's loss at New Jersey with an injured right hand, played Wednesday wearing a device to protect a sprained ligament that controls the movement on his pinky. He said the injury to his fifth metacarpophalamgeal joint had been bothering him for about a month and that the taped splint actually helped his shooting motion by keeping his pinky steady. Mason hit 2 of 5 3-point shots and finished with six points. ... The Spurs' victory was their first at home over the Rockets since Nov. 14, 2008, and tied the season series with Houston at 2-2, the teams' fourth split in five years. ... Hill was the first Spur other than one of the "Big Three" -- Duncan, Ginobili and Parker -- to score 30 points or more since Nazr Mohammad hit for 30 on March 17, 2006, at Phoenix.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Scoreboard
Houston (37-37) 27321924102
San Antonio (45-29) «34302827119
HOU:A. Brooks 21 Pts
HOU:J. Taylor 10 Reb
HOU:K. Lowry 5 Ast
SA:G. Hill 30 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 10 Reb
SA:M. Ginobili 10 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioHouston

G. Hill

A. Brooks
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
30272153
Houston
A. Brooks, PG358-183-353221
J. Taylor, SG345-153-6100214
T. Ariza, SG314-83-464212
L. Scola, PF317-173-372417
C. Hayes, PF191-20-04032
C. Budinger, SF335-80-031312
K. Lowry, PG245-117-975317
J. Hill, PF192-50-03024
M. Harris, SF101-51-22013
H. Armstrong, C40-20-01100
S. Battier, SFDid Not Play
D. Andersen, CDid Not Play
J. Jeffries, PFDid Not Play
K. Martin, SGDid Not Play
Y. Ming, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-9120-27481622102
 41.8%74.1% 
San Antonio
G. Hill, PG3811-156-627430
R. Jefferson, SF348-123-522219
M. Ginobili, SG326-134-5310118
T. Duncan, PF318-121-1103117
A. McDyess, PF163-50-05126
M. Hairston, SG232-65-53029
D. Blair, PF174-62-290510
R. Mason Jr., SG162-50-01126
M. Bonner, PF142-50-14014
K. Bogans, SG80-00-00000
G. Temple, PG80-10-00010
I. Mahinmi, C40-10-02010
T. Parker, PGDid Not Play
A. Gee, SGDid Not Play
C. Jerrells, PGDid Not Play
Totals 46-8121-25412422119
 56.8%84.0% 
Other Games
LAL 92 Final
Atl 109
Mil 98 Final
Cle 101
LAC 92 Final
Tor 114
Phi 84 Final
Char 103
OKC 109 Final
Bos 104
Mia 98 Final
Det 81
Pho 116 Final
NJ 105
Wash 96 Final
NO 91
Sac 99 Final
Min 108
Dal 106 Final
Mem 102
NY 90 Final
Port 118
GS 104 Final
Utah 128