NBA: Spurs edge Knicks to maintain home win streak

San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard shooting against the New York Knicks.
San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard shooting against the New York Knicks. PHOTO: SOOBUM IM/USA TODAY SPORTS/REUTERS

(AFP) - Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 100-99 for their 22nd consecutive victory at home this season.

The win at San Antonio's AT&T Centre was the seventh straight overall for the Spurs and allowed them to stay unbeaten at home. They turned up the heat at the start of the fourth quarter and then held on for the victory, which extended their winning streak to 31 games dating to the final nine home games of 2014-15.

First-placed San Antonio led 79-74 after three quarters, but began the final quarter with seven straight points to give them some breathing room in a contest that included eight lead changes.

New York made a late push in the last five-and-a-half minutes, slashing the lead to one point on Kristaps Porzingis' alley-oop dunk with 32 seconds to play.

San Antonio guard Tony Parker missed a shot with 16 seconds left opening the door for the Knicks to shoot for the victory. But New York guard Jose Calderon's three-point attempt with 0.08 seconds to go rattled off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

"We got a good shot, and that was the most important thing, no matter who took the shot," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.

San Antonio is just the second Western Conference team in history to open a season 22-0 at home, joining Portland, who won their first 26 home games in 1977-78.

The Spurs got 16 points apiece from reserve guard Manu Ginobili, forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Parker.

Rookie Porzingis paced the Knicks attack. He tallied a game-high 28 points with a variety of shots and pulled down 11 rebounds.

"(Porzingis) is a hell of a young player," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Forward Carmelo Anthony added 20 points and 12 rebounds for New York while centre Robin Lopez scored 12 points, reserve guard Langston Galloway scored 11, and forward Lance Thomas had 10 points.