San Antonio Spurs impress in win over high-flying Hawks

AFP| Updated: Mar 23, 2015, 10:21 AM IST
San Antonio Spurs impress in win over high-flying Hawks

The San Antonio Spurs looked every inch their NBA championship selves on Sunday in a dominant 114-95 triumph over Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta.

Five days removed from an embarrassing loss to the woeful New York Knicks -- the worst team in the league -- the Spurs shot an impressive 56.1 percent from the floor and had six players score in double figures.

Tiago Splitter scored 23 points, connecting on 10-of-14 attempts from the field to lead San Antonio.

Kawhi Leonard delivered 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Boris Diaw added 17 points off the bench and Danny Green added 15 for a Spurs team that made do quite nicely without the absent Manu Ginobili, still nursing an ankle injury.

The Spurs took charge early, scoring on 11 possessions in a row during a six-minute stretch in the first quarter.

Marco Belinelli scored all 13 of his points in the second period to help the Spurs maintain their momentum.

The Spurs opened the third quarter with a 10-2 scoring run to stretch their lead to 69-43.

About that time, frustrated Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer received his second technical foul and was ejected from the game.

The only hitch for the Spurs was a sprained right ankle suffered by center Aron Baynes in the first half.

Since losing to the Knicks on Tuesday, the Spurs have won three in a row while the Hawks have now lost three on the trot for the first time this season.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points, while fellow All-Stars Al Horford, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague combined for 22.