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LaMarcus Aldridge played the game the Spurs have been needing in Game 3

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This is what the Spurs expected when they signed him.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

With 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge had outscored the Rockets in the fourth quarter, 9-8, as the Spurs started to stake their claim in Game 3. It was Aldridge taking over and leading the Spurs for a few minutes in the fourth that gave Kawhi Leonard the help so many had been begging for in these playoffs. While Leonard finished with 26 points, Aldridge was right their with him all night long, dropping his own 26 points, to go along with seven rebounds, and four blocks. Thanks to the balanced attack, the Spurs took back home court advantage on Friday with a 103-92 Game 3 win over the Rockets.

Aldridge was struggling on both offense and defense in that brutal Game 1 loss, but looked more like the player the Spurs had hoped for when they signed him to a four-year, $84 million contract. It was a total team effort for the Spurs in Game 3, which was especially crucial given they are now without Tony Parker for the rest of the playoffs. No matter how much of a team effort it was though, they will need Aldridge to make playing like this a regular thing.

Spurs fans agreed too.