With the Jazz missing four of their five starters due to various injuries and rest, San Antonio knew they had to take advantage in order to stay in the playoff hunt. Fortunately, the good guys managed to play a solid team game from start to finish as they secured their third win in Orlando.
The Spurs’ starters bounced back from a lackluster performance against the Nuggets by combining for 81 points, as all five players scored in double digits. Moreover, the bench managed to stay productive even in the absence of Patty Mills, with Rudy Gay leading the second unit with 14 points.
Derrick White continued his strong play by scoring a team high 24 points. He has been the most consistent Spur in Orlando and, considering his excellent defense, arguably the team’s best player as well. White has made strides on both ends of the court and has been drawing charges at a rate that would make Kyle Lowry proud. More importantly, he’s been shooting without hesitation and aggressively attacking the rim.
Marco Belinelli returned to the court following a brief three game absence due to an ankle injury. The Italian sharpshooter made his presence felt right away by hitting two quick threes in the first quarter.
Dejounte Murray bounced back after the Nuggets game, posting 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. He was a menace on defense by constantly disrupting passes, and also showed off his handles and mid range jumper.
Meanwhile, Rudy Gay continued his strong play off the bench and brought some needed energy with Patty Mills out. He has looked spry in Orlando and turned back the clock with this nasty jam late in the game.
However, Jakob Poeltl was arguably the most impressive player for the Spurs, as the big man dropped a season high 19 points and was aggressive all game long. He played with confidence, swatting shots emphatically and even showing off some offensive flair in one sequence by driving in for a layup instead of settling for a dribble hand-off.
It was nice to see the good guys get back in the win column, but the Spurs maintain focus if they want to make the play-in tournament. Hopefully this victory will give San Antonio some momentum heading into their final three games in Orlando.