Aldridge Leads Spurs Past Bulls, 119-100

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had a season-high 33 points and the San Antonio Spurs held on to beat the Chicago Bulls, 119-100, on Sunday after nearly blowing a hot start.

Kawhi Leonard added 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Tony Parker had 13 points and eight assists.

Chicago rallied from a 20-point deficit to lead by three points midway through the third quarter but could not sustain the push, taking its third straight loss.

Parker had nine points in the final quarter while San Antonio improved to 9-4 at home after losing three of its first four at the AT&T Center.

Dwyane Wade led the Bulls with 24 points, including 10 in the final quarter. Jimmy Butler added 19 points, and every Chicago starter except Rajon Rondo scored in double figures. Rondo was held to six points and two assists in 30 minutes.

The Spurs shot 82 percent while taking a 36-25 lead through one quarter. San Antonio doubled its lackluster 17-point opening quarter in its first meeting with Chicago on Dec. 8.

San Antonio looked for Aldridge early, assisting on his first four field goals on a series of mid-range jumpers. Aldridge made his first nine attempts while scoring 20 points in the opening period, his most in any quarter with the Spurs.

Aldridge made his first 11 attempts, finishing 15 for 20 from the field.

With Aldridge rolling, Leonard hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 14-3 lead.

The All-Star duo combined for 41 points in the opening period, but the Bulls kept pace with a balanced scoring effort fueled by their bench.

Reserve forward Nikola Mirotic had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, two steals and four rebounds in the first half. Jerian Grant added five points and two steals.

Butler’s 3-pointer gave Chicago its first lead at 70-67 with 5 minutes remaining in the third.

San Antonio regained its double-digit lead at 95-82 on consecutive 3-pointers by Danny Green with Wade shaking his head after running over late to defend.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Wade is the NBA’s active leader in scoring (301 points) and games played (12) on Christmas Day. … Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said he expects Wade to play in the second game of a back-to-back. … Chicago is 3-10 in back-to-back games heading into Monday’s home contest against Indiana. … G Michael Carter-Williams (sprained left wrist) missed his 26th consecutive game after straining his left wrist on Oct. 31 against Brooklyn.

Spurs: San Antonio shot 82.4 in the opening quarter, its best field goal percentage in a quarter since shooting 84.6 percent against the New York Knicks in the third quarter Dec. 10, 2014. … Aldridge’s career high for points in a quarter is 21, which he had in the opening period against Chicago on Dec. 12, 2014. Aldridge’s previous season high was 26 points in San Antonio’s season-opening blowout of Golden State on Oct. 25. … San Antonio’s bench has outscored its opponents in 20 of 30 games.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Indiana on Monday night.

Spurs: Host Phoenix on Wednesday night.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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