Yes, it has finally happened. The Spurs have taken over the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and passed the Golden State Warriors. While the Spurs and Warriors are actually tied in the loss column with 14 losses a piece, the Spurs own the tiebreaker between the two teams. The Spurs beat the Warriors on opening night and again last Saturday, giving them the tiebreaker for the season.
While the Warriors have lost five of their last seven games, the Spurs have won 11 of their last 12. Both teams have no shortage of adversity as Kevin Durant is dealing with an MCL sprain and LaMarcus Aldridge is dealing with a minor irregular heartbeat, which he has had issues with before. That said, it’s the Spurs that are clearly trending upward.
The Spurs and Warriors each have 16 games left in the season and will play each other once more March 29 in San Antonio. We know the Spurs will maintain a high quality of play no matter what issues they face and we know the Warriors can shoot themselves out a slump quicker than anyone, so a predictable ending to the season won’t be easy. It should be a fun final month as these teams battle for their position in the standings but also find ways to balance rest as the playoffs get closer.
The Spurs also got Kawhi Leonard back on Monday as he returned after suffering a concussion last week. Once again Leonard had himself a night and continues to hang out at the top of the MVP race. He finished the night with 31 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
31 points worth of Kawhilights: pic.twitter.com/3BeqgKrbHe
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 14, 2017
Ricky Rubio sets Timberwolves record for assists
Ricky Rubio came out on fire on Monday night, tallying 10 assists in just the first quarter of the Timberwolves’ game against the Wizards. This was a record for Rubio and for the Timberwolves for most assists in a quarter, but Rubio wasn’t done there. He went on to finish the night with 22 points and 19 assists, which broke his own assist record and another Timberwolves franchise record for most assists in a game.
His best dime of the night came on a fast break where he bounced the ball past three Wizards defenders. Great stuff.
Vince Carter is the only 40-year-old to hit six three-pointers in a game
Vince Carter keeps finding ways to amaze us. Tonight, it was going 8-of-8 from the field, including six three-pointers. Never leave us, Vince.
8 attempts. 8 makes.
— NBA (@NBA) March 14, 2017
Assist of the night
Look at this over-the-head, no look pass from Nikola Jokic. He sees Will Barton starting to cut while Jokic has three defenders on him and makes the pass before Barton is even open. Just a beautiful pass.
Jokic legit might have eyes in the back of his head pic.twitter.com/lIWaQ9GDRs
— NBA (@NBA) March 14, 2017
Dunk of the night
Who else other than Aaron Gordon, of course.