The San Antonio Spurs get back into the winning column with a comfortable win against the visiting Sacramento Kings. The Spurs bounced back after a disappointing loss to the Thunder, with a fast paced, hot shooting performance.
The Spurs were still without Jakob Poeltl as well as KBD and Jock Landale who were new additions to the injury report. The Kings were without starter and 12th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Tyrese Haliburton.
Another game, another strong start for the Spurs as they opened with a 7-0 run, two shy of their start Sunday night in OKC. The Spurs were intent from the beginning to play fast and physical, unfortunately Drew Eubanks wasn’t acclimated early on, which led to 3 turnovers for the big man replacing Jakob. The Spurs were able to overcome these turnovers, as they got an early 10-point lead after pushing the ball in transition after steals. San Antonio were shooting the ball with confidence in this one, this was showcased early as DJ showed off his inside-outside, side step dribble to nail a three over the oncoming defense. Then in a real show of confidence — Devin after missing a three but getting the ball right back, went straight up into another one, and the basketball gods rewarded Vassell’s shooting confidence with a swish on this one. Spurs finished the quarter up 14; 34-20.
To start the second, the Spurs replicated the first quarter with a 3-pointer to start. The home team were much more active on both ends and this helped extend the lead to over 20. For the Kings they needed an answer, luckily, De’Aaron Fox entered the game and his lighting quick speed in the PnR game provided a quick Sacramento run. The Kings continued to battle back, getting aggressive on the inside, with rebounds and fouls. DJ & Lonnie countered as they had 14 straight Spur points, including 3 threes. They found themselves up 71-54 at the half-time interval.
The Kings were more engaged to start the half, and Fox started to pile up some points. The game quickly became a shootout, the Kings had 21 points in the first 7 minutes of the quarter, fortunately for Spurs, they had 19. The Spurs then started to get some more breathing room with an 8-0 run — getting out in transition and making use of their hot shooting night was key in this run. Former Spur, Chimezie Metu kept the Kings in striking distance with his nice shooting game. The lead stayed the same margin as it was at the end of the 3rd as it was heading into half-time; 17 points.
The 4th was much of a stalemate as the Spurs were able to hold an arms distance, making shot for shot with Fox and the Kings. Then with 3 minutes to play, Pop cleared the bench. Josh Primo entered the game along with NBA debutant and Spur second round pick; Joe Wieskamp, who on his first NBA shot, nailed a three pointer. Spurs won; 136-117.
- Red-Hot Shooting Night. The Spurs scored a season high 136 points while hitting a season high 18 three pointers. It felt like they couldn’t miss tonight. The poor Kings defense definitely helped, but give the Spurs credit as well. They moved well without the ball and passed with great unselfishness. Also, every time they raised up to shoot an outside shot they looked supremely confidence (as if they were all Steph Curry), which I’m sure helped with the final percentages.
- First Quarter Defense. This is becoming a theme for the Spurs at the moment, the last three games in the 1st quarter they have only allowed, 20, 14 & 20 first quarter points. They have come out of the gates active on that end of the floor, and its helping them to quick starts.
- Bench Scoring. The Spurs have become known over the last decade for their strength of their bench. With the likes of Manu and more recently Patty the Spurs have always had scoring off the bench. This year they have had to rely on their starters much more. But tonight their bench showed up big, the 4 players who played over 12 minutes scored 15, 15 ,15 & 17 points. That’s unbelievable production — this should not should be expected every game but something similar will help the starters immensely when they are out of the game.
Play of the Game
When I said the Spurs couldn’t miss, I meant it. Even on a broken play and a last second heave, the shot was money.
Spurs Valuable Player (SVP)
3rd place (1 point): Devin Vassell | 25 minutes, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 threes
Lonnie, Bryn & Doug were all in contention for this spot as they had nice nights shooting from the outside but I had to go with the best of all of them, Devin Vassell. DV hit 5 threes tonight and never looked like missing, his off ball movement was superb and was searching for the ball the whole night. Defense was good as always.
2nd place (2 points): Thaddeus Young | 24 minutes, 17 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds
Thad is starting to pile up the SVP points as of late, he is such a key player nowadays since Jakob has been out. Tonight he scored efficiently, play made for others and was a stellar defender on the inside. Going to be interesting to monitor his minutes when Poeltl comes back, but it certainly looks like the backup big position is his to lose.
1st place (3 points): Dejounte Murray | 32 minutes, 26 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 stls
Dejounte was Dejounte, as simple as that. Filled the box score and had a season high 26 points. He has separated himself from the rest of the group as the clear best player on the team. He is also separating himself on the SVP leaderboard but maybe Jakob will have something to say about that when he gets back. But for now Dejounte stays golden. Great performance.
1st - Dejounte Murray - 20pts
2nd - Keldon Johnson - 10pts
3rd - Jakob Poeltl & Devin Vassell - 8pts each
4th - Thaddeus Young - 7pts
5th - Derrick White - 5pts
6th - Doug McDermott - 3pts
7th - Drew Eubanks - 2pts
8th - Lonnie Walker IV, Bryn Forbes & Jock Landale- 1pt each
Next Game: Vs Mavericks on Friday
For the 3rd time already this season, the Spurs play their Texas rivals, the Dallas Mavericks. They are 0-2 and will be looking for their first win against Luka Doncic & Co, as well as their first back to back wins of the season.