Defense-first approach works for Spurs
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs never trailed while holding Utah to a season-low scoring total in an 89-69 victory over the Jazz on Sunday night.
Kawhi Leonard had 12 points and nine rebounds in his return after two games away because of a right hand injury. Coach Gregg Popovich said he was glad to have him back.
"He always impacts a game," Popovich said. "He was the MVP of the Finals last year. Those kind of guys usually have some sort of an impact."
Leonard gave the Spurs another scare Sunday when he remained down for about 45 seconds after tumbling to the floor. He grimaced and rubbed his right hand, but he stayed in the game.
San Antonio has won three in a row.
Rudy Gobert had 13 points and a season-high 18 rebounds for Utah.
•FINALLY GOT 'EM: Tyreke Evans scored on a driving layup with 1.6 seconds left and the New Orleans Pelicans beat host Toronto 95-93, their first victory in seven meetings with the Raptors. The Pelicans played without injured starters Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday.
•TOUGH TO COME BACK FROM: Orlando gave up 79 first-half points, leading to a 127-99 home loss to Oklahoma City.