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San Antonio at New York, Final Score: Spurs outlast the Knicks’ late run, 111-104

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The Silver and Black snap the longest losing streak of the Gregg Popovich era.

San Antonio Spurs v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs won a nail-biter over the New York Knicks. After building a 28-point lead in the third quarter, the gutsy Knickerbockers fought back to make it a single-digit game in the final period. It was an all too familiar scene for San Antonio, but they pulled out the victory 111-104.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, closely followed by 21 points from DeMar DeRozan. Marcus Morris led New York with 20 points, and Bobby Portis collected 16 points in 20 minutes off the bench.

Observations

  • Marcus Morris stuck it to the Spurs in their first meeting, and San Antonio rendered the Knicks’ leading scorer powerless for most of round two. While the pain of losing Davis Bertans is still fresh in our minds, a victory over the man responsible for the Latvian Laser’s displacement is always nice.
  • The Spurs built a 28-point cushion over the Knicks, and their largest lead of the season almost wasn’t enough. San Antonio has led by 10 points nine times this season, and their opponent has closed the gap to single digits on all but one occasion. Keeping the pedal to the metal is something this team just hasn’t been able to do.
  • Lonnie Walker IV played legitimate minutes and Spurs fans everywhere rejoiced. The second-year wing guarded with intensity, got his hair above the rim on a thunderous jam, and made a gorgeous under-the-basket pass down the baseline to Patty Mills for a three.
  • DeMar DeRozan aggressively searched for his shot early and it paid off to the tune of 15 first-half points. Despite a relatively passive second half, San Antonio found other options to carry the scoring load.
  • The Knicks looked like a team without direction. Are they trying to develop promising talent or are they trying to win with veterans? Though David Fizdale is held in high regard around the league, his days coaching at Madison Square Garden are likely coming to an end sometime very soon.
  • Patty Mills needed 15 points to move up the NBA’s all-time bench scoring leaderboard, and he exceeded his goal with 17. He now holds sole possession of 49th place with 4627 points off the bench.
  • DeMarre Carroll came in for DeMar DeRozan midway through the first quarter and all he did was force a turnover on his first defensive sequence. He played 17 minutes on Friday, and Pop rewarded him with 13 minutes tonight.
  • Derrick White filled in for Dejounte Murray in the starting lineup but failed to make much of an impact. He was in a bit of a funk before sitting out the last two contests with foot pain, and he is now averaging just 5.6 points in 23.6 minutes over his last 5 games.
  • The story of the night for LaMarcus Aldridge was his willingness to shoot the three-ball, but I bet you didn’t know he broke another Spurs record. By appearing in his 419th game in Silver and Black, LA passed two-time All-Star Larry Kenon for 27th place on the Spurs all-time list for games played.
  • Slow starts have plagued the Spurs this season, but San Antonio opened the game on a 7-0 run and dominated the first quarter. They held the Knicks to 16 points on 33% shooting while assisting on 8 of their first 12 field goals in the opening frame.
  • The Spurs committed 21 turnovers in their season-opening matchup with the Knicks, and they one-upped themselves with a season-high 22 turnovers tonight. San Antonio has yet to play 48 minutes of consistent basketball, and the second half of tonight’s game was as sloppy as they’ve been all year.

For the Knicks fans’ perspective, visit Posting and Toasting.

The Spurs return to the AT&T Center on Monday for a date with the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

Tip-off will be at 7:30 PM CT on FSSW.