SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held off Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks 100-99 on Friday night to remain undefeated at home.
San Antonio won its franchise-record 22nd straight home game to open the season and is tied for the franchise’s best start after 38 games at 32-6. This was its most difficult home victory yet, though.
Porzingis had 28 points and 11 rebounds but was on the bench when the Knicks started a 14-4 run to pull within 96-94 with 1:27 remaining.
New York’s Arron Afflalo hit his second 3-pointer in the final 2 minutes to make it 98-97 Spurs. After Tony Parker’s layup for San Antonio, Porzingis threw down an alley-oop dunk.
Parker missed a jumper, and then Jose Calderon missed a contested 3-pointer from the left corner for New York to end it.
The Spurs were bothered by the length of the Knicks’ starting frontcourt, especially Porzingis.
The 7-foot-3 rookie was 11 for 21 from the field while being defended primarily by LaMarcus Aldridge.
Porzingis opened the game with a 3-pointer over Aldridge’s outstretched reach. He later drove past the speedy Patty Mills for a short hook that he missed only to follow with a two-handed dunk.
Porzingis also was 3 for 7 on 3-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony added 20 points and 12 rebounds for New York.
Aldridge, Parker and Manu Ginobili each had 16 points for San Antonio, which was won seven straight.
Knicks: Porzingis’ career high is 29 points against Charlotte on Nov. 17. He has 14 double-doubles this season and has scored in double figures in 28 games, including 18 of his last 24. … Forward Cleanthony Early missed the game with an injured right knee. Early has played in just 10 games this season. He was inactive for 20 games and did not play in four others.
Spurs: San Antonio’s best start in franchise history came in 2011 when it opened 37-6. … The Chicago Bulls have the longest home winning streak in NBA history, capturing 44 straight from March 1995 to April 1996.
Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Sunday night.
Spurs: At Brooklyn on Monday night.