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San Antonio vs. Utah, Final Score: Spurs Shoot their (Midrange) Shot on the Way to Victory, 127-120

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The shorthanded Spurs send the Jazz packing in the penultimate game before the Rodeo Road Trip

Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The Spurs pulled off one of their more impressive victories of the season as they defeated the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Despite trouble containing the opposing offense, San Antonio overcame their defensive deficiencies behind a 56.1% team shooting effort, winning 127-120.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 38 points on 11-of-19 from the field, followed by 18 points from Patty Mills, and 16 points from Dejounte Murray. Donovan Mitchell paced the Jazz with 31 points, and Rudy Gobert registered a 17 point 19 rebound double-double.

Observations

  • Jordan Clarkson always seems right at home when he visits the AT&T Center, and the Wagner High School product once again had his way with the Silver and Black. He scored 25 points in his first trip to San Antonio earlier this season, and he racked up another 20 points on Wednesday night.
  • Sometimes it’s easy to forget Donovan Mitchell is only three seasons into his professional career. The explosive combo guard plays with wisdom beyond his years, and tonight he lit the Spurs up for 31 points. The 23-year-old showed off his well-rounded two-way game, and I look forward to watching him square off against San Antonio for years to come.
  • Dejounte Murray gave the Steiffel Tower a taste of his own medicine in possibly my favorite sequence of the season. The six-four point guard stuffed the colossal seven-footer on one end and then proceeded to dance on the big man before knocking down a mid-range jumper. Overall, this was one of his best games of the season as he tallied 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals on 70% shooting from the field.
  • Though it was a rather uneventful venture, DeMar DeRozan scored his 16,000th career point on his ninth free throw attempt of the night. The four-time All-Star also passed Kiki Vandeweghe, Amar’e Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace, and Derek Harper on the all-time scoring list and became just the 112th player in NBA history to reach that mark. His 38 points were the ninth time he’s scored 30 points this year, as well as a new season-high.
  • Patty Mills continued his climb up the all-time bench scoring leaderboard, surpassing six-time All-Star Walter Davis for 37th place in points off the pine. The longest-tenured active Spur dropped 16 points in 25 minutes and provided a much-needed second-unit spark.
  • The Spurs led by 8 points heading into the locker room, but the Jazz halved their deficit by the end of the third quarter. Though San Antonio let their guard down a bit, it should come as no surprise their challenger made a run considering they own the fourth-best third-quarter margin (+2.8) in the league. The Jazz came close to evening the score in the final frame, but the Silver and Black weathered the storm.
  • Led by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, Utah laid claim to the sixth-best scoring defense coming into the contest. Finding buckets without LaMarcus Aldridge was going to be tough, but the good guys quickly erased any concern as they tied Toronto for the most first-quarter points (37) versus the Jazz this season.
  • San Antonio is now 2-3 in their last 5 games with a single contest standing between them and the beginning of the 2020 Rodeo Road Trip. The 16-31 Hornets will be their final opponent before their three-week excursion, but given the Spurs inconsistencies, even a lowly foe like Charlotte could be a knock-down-drag-out battle.

For the Jazz fans’ perspective, visit SLC Dunk.

The Silver and Black return to the AT&T Center on Saturday to take on the Hornets. Tip-off is slated for 8:00 PM CT.