Basketball: Leonard's All-Star show helps Spurs take winning streak to 12 games

Kawhi Leonard watches from the bench during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns.
Kawhi Leonard watches from the bench during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard celebrated his election as an All-Star starter with 21 points and reserve centre Boban Marjanovic had his first career double-double in a 117-89 victory over the injury-depleted Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Marjanovic had 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as the Spurs (37-6) won their 12th consecutive game while matching the 2010-11 team for the best 43-game start in franchise history.

Spurs reserve forward Jonathon Simmons had 13 points and guard Ray McCallum had 11 points. McCallum started for injured Tony Parker and centre Tim Duncan was rested for the game at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The Spurs, who never trailed, closed within two games of the Golden State Warriors (39-4) for the best record in the league.

Rookie guard Devin Booker had 24 points for the Suns, who were without leading scorer point guard Brandon Knight and all three power forwards, including starter Markieff Morris.

Guard Archie Goodwin had a season-high 20 points as the Suns (13-31) lost their sixth straight game and the 15th in their past 16.

Reserve forward T.J. Warren had 18 points and centre Tyson Chandler had a season-high 20 rebounds and eight points for Phoenix.

The Suns suited up only nine players while also playing without injured reserve forwards Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic, and they were down to eight after forward P.J. Tucker suffered a contusion when he was kneed in the sternum in the first quarter. He did not return.

The Spurs have won the first three games of the four-game season series by 33, 14 and 28 points.

Knight, who missed the game with a groin injury, is averaging 19.7 points a game and has taken over at point guard following the season-ending knee injury to Eric Bledsoe on Dec 26.