San Antonio picked up right where they left off before the All-Star break, snagging a much-needed road victory against the fourth-place Jazz. The Spurs led by as many as 25 points and Utah made several threatening runs, but the good guys survived and never trailed in the second half.
Dejounte Murray thrived while back spasms sidelined DeMar DeRozan, but the two ball-dominant guards proved they could coexist in the good guys’ second win of the Rodeo Road Trip. Though they both scored 18 or more points on Friday night, it was the third-year guard who shined brightest in this one.
Murray dropped 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists on 62.5% from the field and made his presence felt on the opposite end with 4 steals and a league-high 7 deflections. The spindly floor general was a headache for the Jazz to handle, and he showed off his vastly-improved mid-range jumper on the way to his first consecutive 20 point games of his career.
Dejounte Murray has 20+ points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.— Jordan Howenstine (@AirlessJordan) February 22, 2020
After scoring a career-high 25 at OKC last game, Murray has 21 in the third quarter tonight in Utah.
While Dejounte battled inconsistent shooting to begin the Rodeo Road Trip, he has flipped the script to a tune of roughly 20-8-6 on 60-71-94 shooting splits over his last four outings. The 23-year-old floor general has also shown incredible development as a facilitator, coughing up just THREE turnovers through seven games of the Spurs’ annual extended excursion.
Dejounte Murray put on a show, but what truly made me giddy was the appearance of a closing backcourt lineup comprised of Derrick White and his previously mentioned starting counterpart. The pair brandished a -18.2 Net Rating in their six minutes spent together in the final frame, though a closer look at the tape would tell you they did an excellent job defending their assignments outside of a few inconsequential mistakes.
And since we’re on the topic of Derrick White, let’s end on another positive note. Here’s the three-point dagger that gave the Silver and Black a 14 points cushion with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.