With their victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon, the Spurs have put themselves in a good position to participate in a potential play-in tournament as their quest to make the playoffs continues. San Antonio was also helped by the Celtics since their victory over the Trail Blazers has pushed the Good Guys into sole possession of the ninth seed in the Western Conference.
As is tradition, the Spurs almost blew a double digit lead in the fourth quarter. San Antonio was up 94-83 going into the final frame but allowed Memphis to rattle off nine consecutive points to make it a one possession game. Thankfully, San Antonio managed to regain their footing and claw their way to a nail-biting victory.
Dejounte Murray led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but the win should be attributed to a strong team effort. Six different players scored double digits points, and the squad seems to have found a nice balance between giving free reign to the young guns while still letting the veterans assert themselves in key moments. After sitting out for Friday’s game, Patty Mills was reinserted into the lineup and provided the Spurs with the jolt of energy that only he could.
Keldon Johnson delivered another strong performance on Sunday, as he never took a play off and hustled on both ends of the court. The rookie’s spirit is infectious, and there’s no doubt that the team thrives off of his vitality.
More importantly, the young guns seem to be developing lots of chemistry during their time on the court. The passing was crisp and on target; it’s hard not to get excited about the Spurs’ future.
Drew Eubanks came off the bench during the game and has looked more and more comfortable in NBA action. The 23-year-old also continued to show off his physicality and athleticism, as he added another dunk to his growing highlight reel.
One of the most encouraging moments of the game came when Murray hit a timely three late in the fourth to put the good guys up by eight. The athletic guard had air balled a similar shot just a few minutes before, so it was nice to see his unwavering confidence on display.
However, it was DeMar DeRozan who took over for the second consecutive match. The veteran struggled with his shot for most of the afternoon but hit a clutch shot with less than a minute left in the fourth.
The schedule only gets harder from here, beginning with a back-to-back against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, but so far the young, new-look Spurs have been a treat to watch. Hopefully they can keep it up!