DeMar DeRozan leads Spurs past short-handed Rockets

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points and the San Antonio Spurs were at their best late in the fourth quarter to defeat the visiting, short-handed Houston Rockets 103-91 on Saturday in the second game between the teams over a three-day period.

Jakob Poeltl and Dejounte Murray added double-doubles for the Spurs.

The Spurs led by three points heading into the fourth quarter and by just 85-82 with 7:54 remaining before putting together a late 10-0 to finish off Houston.

After suiting up just nine players in a 109-105 win over the Spurs on Thursday, Houston only had eight healthy players (the league required minimum) available Saturday. The eighth, Rodions Kurucs, acquired as part of the Rockets’ trade of James Harden to Brooklyn on Wednesday, joined the team on Saturday morning.

Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio with Poeltl scoring 13 and taking 11 rebounds, and Keldon Johnson and Patty Mills hitting for 11 points each.

Christian Wood and Mason Jones led Houston with 24 points apiece while Ben McLemore hit for a season-high 21. Wood added a game-high 18 rebounds; Jones’ point total was a career-high.

The Rockets were up by as many as nine points early in the second quarter. San Antonio rallied to tie the game late in the period before Jones’ 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left allowed Houston to take a 53-50 lead at the half.

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