Rookie Bertans' 21 points lead Spurs over Hornets, 102-85
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Davis Bertans scored a season-high 21 points to help the San Antonio Spurs overcome a sluggish start and beat the Charlotte Hornets 102-85 on Saturday night.
San Antonio has won nine straight at home and 13 of 15 overall.
Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, but Bertans ignited the Spurs.
San Antonio is 13-0 when Bertans scores a point and he was 4 for 5 on 3-pointers in leading the Spurs in scoring for the first time this season.
San Antonio needed the rookie's energy in the second half to counter Kemba Walker. The Hornets point guard had 18 points, shooting 4 for 5 from 3-point range.
Bertans energized the sold-out crowd with back-to-back 3-pointers late in the third quarter, extending the Spurs' lead to 68-60. His first 3 resulted in a four-point play when Frank Kaminsky closed late defensively and nearly knocked over the 6-foot-10 forward from Latvia.
Bertans' fourth 3-pointer caused the Spurs' bench to leap in excitement, signaling the shot with three fingers in the air.
San Antonio committed only three turnovers in the first half, which did not result in any points, but still trailed 50-47 in a sluggish effort.
The Hornets attempted 25 free throws, five more than the Spurs.
Jeremy Lamb added 13 points and eight assists for Charlotte.
Hornets: C Cody Zeller played after clearing the concussion protocol tests. Zeller missed the previous three games with . Charlotte has lost nine straight in San Antonio. The Hornets' last victory was a 92-85 overtime victory on Nov. 15, 2006. . Walker, Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Zeller started together for the first time this season. . C Roy Hibbert emerged a few minutes into the second half with his right knee wrapped heavily wrapped in ice, but he entered the game midway through the third quarter. Hibbert finished with 10 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.
Spurs: Leonard has scored in double figures in 69 straight games. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins have longer active streaks. . F David Lee missed his first game of the season with a bruised left knee. He is averaging 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds and has started two games. . C Pau Gasol had two blocks, moving him past Jermaine O'Neal for 22nd on the career list with 1,822. . PG Tony Parker has played in 1,108 career games, breaking a tie with Robert Horry, Jack Sikma and Tom Chambers and into 60th in league history.
Hornets: At Houston on Tuesday night.
Spurs: Host Milwaukee on Tuesday night.