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Dejounte Murray fills up the box score again in Spurs loss to the Mavericks

The day will soon come when all of these close losses turn into wins

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs once again provided the effort and moxie but fell to the Mavericks for their 4th straight loss of the early season. The Spurs had their first different starting lineup due to Doug McDermott’s injury, so Gregg Popovich inserted Lonnie Walker IV into the starting five.

Dejounte Murray almost had another triple-double as he poured in 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out 8 assists. Bryn Forbes came off the bench and broke out of his slump, shooting 5 for 7 from downtown, which made up all of his 15 points for the night. Jakob Poeltl also notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards.

The good guys got out to an early lead behind the floor direction of Murray, and while the offense had its fits, the defense has been a bright spot for the Silver and Black. The offensive and defensive parity has been the recurring theme for the Spurs so far this season. The early games, while disheartening with so many close losses, are encouraging in that these young Spurs are putting in the work and truly metaphorically pounding that rock.

Murray made his presence known early in this game by doing a bit of everything from rebounding, finding players cutting to the basket, and making shots of his own. His defense, rebounding, and scoring has always been the more consistent part of his game. Developing his floor vision and assisting on more baskets will hopefully be a more common sight as seen in his last two games.

Here, Keldon Johnson battles inside for a bucket in the paint. This season, Johnson’s drives to the basket still have his patented power and wrecking ball energy but with a subtle added measure of control and refinement.

A guard that blocks shots consistently is like when the waiter brings out an appetizer but you didn’t order one, but they give it to you for free anyway: You don’t expect it, but when it happens you really appreciate it regardless. Derrick White’s defense and knack for rejecting shots is a welcome sight for sure. The “veteran” guard (5 years in the league almost qualifies him for veteran status, no?) has 6 blocks so far this year.

Blockab Poeltl also doing what Blockab Poeltl does best. The Spurs’ center has turned it up as of late averaging almost two and a half blocks per game. His defense remains stellar, and he remains an important anchor for the team’s overall defense.

White’s nice backwards pass found a cutting Poetll for the slam. White, for the game, had 7 assists as he and Murray took turns being the main distributors for the team.

Here, Poeltl returns the favor and finds White with the lookie loo for the easy basket as White manages to get behind the defense.

Big Bucket Bryn (BBB) with the buzzer beater before (BBB) halftime. Say that five times fast! BBB with the BBB halftime. Here, the ball movement was crisp, swinging from Poeltl to White to a lock-and-loaded Forbes for the three pointer. The faint remnants of the Beautiful Game constantly teases Spurs fan in the early going. Perhaps the young guns can employ it consistently sooner than later.

And last but never least, the full-game highlights:

Next up, the Spurs head out to Milwaukee for a rematch with the Bucks on Saturday, October 30, 2021.