The Spurs played an abysmal first half, and worked their way back into the contest late, but a short-handed Heat, resting 4 starters, took care of business with dominant performances from Max Strus and Tyler Herro. The Spurs once again struggled to score, and the best player for the Silver and Black tonight was Bryn Forbes. You won’t win too many games where that is the case. Luckily, this is only preseason, and the loss didn’t count in the standings, but it was not an encouraging effort for fans who want the Spurs to contend with the new young core.
- I’m adding a special section to the end of my recaps, called Primo Watch. I’ll try (and fail mostly) to come up with something interesting to say about the Spurs 18 year-old first round phenom.
- Dejounte Murray is back tonight, and in the starting lineup with Derrick White, Samanic, Keldon Johnson, and Eubanks.
- The Heat were on the second night of a roadie back to back, having beat the Rockets last night 113-106, and they rested a LOT of players, with only eight players in the game.
- Bryn Forbes is more than a pullup shooter these days. He looks like he has a lot more versatile offensive game than just a few years ago when he went to the Bucks.
- Pop was sporting a huge bandage on his forehead, hopefully it’s nothing too significant. It didn’t seem to bother him too much.
- Max Strus and Omer Yurtseven are guys who I hadn’t seen before, but they were both terrific for the Heat in this game, with their size and shooting ability causing lots of problems for the Silver and Black.
- Jock Landale looked pretty solid playing at center. I like Drew Eubanks, but his lack of size hurt the Spurs on the board against the bigger Heat frontcourt. Unfortunately, he got hit in the face by Lonnie Walker IV late and might miss a game or two.
Luka Saminic was in the starting lineup, and his name gave the Miami announcers a lot of trouble early on, but he played good defense as both teams had trouble scoring as the game began. The Spurs went ice cold early trailing 12-4 halfway through the first frame. Omer Yurtseven and the beefy Heat players size to physically dominate the smaller Spurs. After 12 minutes of abysmal basketball from both teams, the Heat led 24-17 at the end of the first.
Tyler Herro got hot early in the second quarter as the Heat built a double digit lead early. He kept up the heat (see what I did there?) throughout the second quarter as he beat Dejounte Murray in a variety of ways and scored points in bunches. The Spurs finally were able to hit some shots late in the quarter and made the game a bit closer at halftime, assisted by some solid defense from Thaddeus Young who drew two charges in the quarter, trailing 54-45 at the half.
Keldon Johnson scored the first points of the third quarter as the Spur as they played with a bit more energy and cut the lead early, finally taking the lead on a Keldon Johnson triple about halfway through the quarter 67-65. Neither team distinguished themselves, but the Spurs somehow trailed by a single point after 3 quarters 77-78.
Tyler Herro is a problem, and with so many players out for the Heat, he continued to plague the Spurs defenders as he scored at will early. Pop finally put Devin Vassell on Herro, and he actually made a few stops as the Spurs retook the lead. Luka Samanic, in for an injured Landale played well at the end, but Strus made some clutch shots as the Heat retook the lead, and the Heat pressure caused a Lonnie Walker turnover late that sealed the game as Miami won 109-105.
PRIMO WATCH: Josh Primo is a good-looking kid, and he finally entered the game with 7:45 left in the fourth and scored zero points.
What’s Next . . .
The Spurs head to Orlando on Sunday at 5:00 PM CT to face the Magic for another game that won’t count in the standings. But it might be a preview of the season opener which will be played on October 20 in ... Orlando. The Spurs season record is now 0-0 and they are tied with all 30 teams in the league for first place. Or last place.