Knicks Fall to Spurs, Allowing Gregg Popovich to Move Up Career Wins List
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points, Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25 and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Knicks, 100-91, on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Manu Ginobili finished with 12 points — three coming on what appeared to be a pass that went into the basket without everyone noticing.
The victory was also Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich’s 1,176th and moved him into fifth place on the N.B.A.’s coaching wins list, breaking a tie with George Karl.With a second win over the Knicks in six days, Popovich moved into fifth place on the N.B.A.’s coaching wins list, breaking a tie with George Karl.
This was the second time in six days that the Spurs beat the Knicks — they also posted a 119-107 on Dec. 28 — and was San Antonio’s fourth victory in its last five games.
Michael Beasley had 18 points for the Knicks, who were playing one of only four home games this month. They play 12 times on the road, where they have struggled to a 3-12 record.
Kristaps Porzingis was only 5 of 19 from the floor, and was one of three Knicks to finish with 13 points.
The Knicks led by 29-25 after one quarter but could not break 20 points in either of the next two quarters. The Spurs began to pull away midway through the third and ended the period with the game’s most bizarre basket.
Ginobili appeared to be trying to lob a pass from beyond the 3-point line to Aldridge, but the pass went over his head. Michael Beasley grabbed it and began dribbling up the court as Ginobili and other Spurs waved frantically to the officials that the ball had actually gone into the basket.
The referees eventually credited the basket to Ginobili — but only for 2 points. The basket was reviewed after the quarter ended and counted as a 3-pointer, giving San Antonio an 81-67 lead.
Leonard played 30 minutes for the first time this season. It was just his seventh game after his return from a quadriceps injury. Leonard, who missed his first five 3-point attempts before making his final three, finished 8 for 20 over all and grabbed eight rebounds.
Knicks guard Ron Baker missed the game because of a broken left orbital bone, an injury he sustained when he was hit in the face trying to stop a drive to the basket by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis in a Knicks’ victory on Saturday. Coach Jeff Hornacek said Baker took part in the non-contact portion of practice Monday but the mask he was fitted for to wear in games was not available yet.