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Houston Rockets (22-4)


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With Leonard back, Spurs look to cool off Rockets

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- For the San Antonio Spurs, the result was rendered immaterial. Having contested the first 27 games without their best player, the Spurs were so pleased to welcome back forward Kawhi Leonard on Tuesday night that their loss to the Dallas Mavericks was essentially a footnote.

San Antonio (19-9) managed just fine without Leonard, whose quadriceps injury delayed his season debut and remains an impediment at least in terms of a minutes restriction. The Spurs own the third-best record in the Western Conference and their defense did not reflect the absence of a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, with San Antonio ranking third in defensive efficiency.

With the challenge of life without Leonard met, the Spurs must now tackle the task of blending their MVP candidate back into the mix. Leonard logged 16 minutes against the Mavericks, posting 13 points and six rebounds. Step two in his transition comes Friday night at Toyota Center against the Houston Rockets (22-4), who are riding an 11-game winning streak.

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Leaders
Points: James Harden31.6
Rebounds: Clint Capela11.0
Assists: Chris Paul9.6
FG%: Clint Capela68.0%
Steals: Chris Paul2.08
Blocks: Clint Capela1.88
Defense (Rank)
Points: 103.7 (12)
Rebounds: 40.9 (2)
Assists: 22.1 (13)
FG%: 46.0% (17)
FT%: 75.3% (6)
3P%: 36.3% (13)
Offense (Rank)
Points: 114.8 (2)
Rebounds: 44.1 (13)
Assists: 23.0 (11)
FG%: 47.0% (9)
FT%: 79.5% (6)
3P%: 36.9% (11)
Standings
Southwest Division
  W L Pct GB
Houston 22 4 .846 --
San Antonio 19 9 .679 4.0
New Orleans 15 14 .517 8.5
Memphis 8 20 .286 15.0
Dallas 8 21 .276 15.5
Full Standings
Transactions
Date Player Transactions
10/28/2017 Isaiah Canaan Waived
10/25/2017 Isaiah Canaan Signed as Free Agent
10/24/2017 Briante Weber Signed as Free Agent Two Way Contract
10/16/2017 Cameron Oliver Waived
10/13/2017 George de Paula Waived
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Injuries
Date Player Status
12/14/2017 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute Sore shoulder
12/7/2017 Troy Williams Right MCL sprain
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