Tony Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Tim Duncan scored 30 points while Manu Ginobili added 23 off the bench to rekindle memories of the Spurs teams that won four titles from 1999-2007.
San Antonio snatched a 41-29 lead after the first quarter then held off the Rockets the rest of the way as James Harden (33 points) and Jeremy Lin (21) tried to pull the visitors even.
The Spurs (23-8) led 101-97 early in the fourth before going on an 11-0 run to seal the win and snap Houston's five-game win streak.
"There was a point where we knew we would have to get stops to win the game and we made them in the final quarter," Parker said.
The Spurs' supporting players finally made an impact during the fourth-quarter run with Patty Mills making a three-pointer, and Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson adding baskets.
Houston shot 52 percent from the field while the Spurs shot 57 percent. It was the Spurs' third win over the Rockets in December alone.
"We're going to play fast; they're going to play fast," said Houston coach Kevin McHale. "So it's (always) going to be fast."
San Antonio have won four straight and eight of nine and lead the Southwest by 2 1/2 games from Memphis.
The Rockets trail the Spurs by six games.