The Spurs were able to overcome the Kings tonight by playing with more energy and intensity than the road-weary California cagers. The Spurs made the game ugly and the Kings shot the ball like mere mortals tonight, giving the more aggressive team the advantage, which the Spurs exploited for a relatively easy 120-106 win. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Silver and Black took care of business and hammered out a win at home, which has not been easy this season. Gorgui Dieng made his Spur debut, but only played 5 minutes before being injured on a hard hit from former Spur Chimezie Metu. Drew Eubanks performed well, providing key help in the fourth quarter as the Kings fouled Jakob Poeltl to junk up the game and try to catch up. DeMar DeRozan provided the scoring punch for the Spurs as they put the game away in the fourth.
- Early in the day, I had heard that Lonnie Walker IV was out, and Gorgui Dieng wasn’t ready to play yet, but later both were upgraded to playing status. Lonnie ended up being held out, but Dieng got into the game late in the first quarter and scored on a pair of free throws after being fouled hard by former Spur Chimezie Metu. Unfortunately, the Metu hit sprained Dieng’s shoulder, and he was out after just 5 minutes for the Spurs. I hope it won’t be a long absence, but Drew Eubanks performed admirably as the backup center tonight after being pressed into service unexpectedly.
- Tonight marked the official start of the Spurs being broadcast on the Bally Sports Network. Bally who?
- The Kings didn’t hit every shot they took tonight. Better defense, or was Monday just an aberration?
- The Spurs just played a lot harder tonight than they did in the previous game, at least early. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was productive.
- Tyrese Halliburton has a very polished game for a rookie. This Kings team is loaded with talent. They will be really good in a few years if they can keep this group together.
- I don’t get how you can foul a player after the buzzer and there’s no penalty. So it’s a free shot if you wait for the light to go on? That’s not cool.
- With Dieng out for a while, Jakob Poeltl is going to be fouled whenever a team is behind in the fourth quarter. He has to get better at shooting free throws, or that will continue to be a weakness for the Spurs.
The Spurs got off to a rough start, with a turnover and a defensive flub gave the Kings a 4-0 lead, but the Spurs came roaring back with ferocious defense and dunks from Dejounte Murray as they led 17-11 before the first stoppage of play with over half of the first quarter gone. The Spurs led 33-27 at the end of the quarter.
Delon Wright started the second with a pair of three point shots for the Kings as they tied things up, but the Spurs fought back with Rudy Gay and Patty Mills hitting clutch shots as they pumped up the Spurs lead back up to 6, forcing a Luke Walton time out. The aggression from the Silver and Black continued as they stretched the lead to a dozen late in the quarter with a DeRozan layup. The Spurs barrage continued to the buzzer when Keldon Johnson was fouled on a triple, but after time had run out. Still, the Spurs rode their second quarter aggressiveness to a 69-53 lead.
The Kings started the third quarter off hot, but the Spurs answered every shot with one of their own, with DeMar DeRozan unstoppable in the midrange. The Spurs led stretched their lead to 21, and kept up the pressure on the young Kings. Buddy Hield, who had been held in check exploded in the quarter as they cut a 23 point Spurs lead to a dozen late in the quarter. The Spur led 97-82 with three free throws from Rudy Gay providing the final margin.
The Spurs started the final quarter on a cold streak, but the Kings were just as cold and the Spurs kept them at arm’s length early in the quarter, maintaining the lead in the 13-19 point range halfway though the quarter. The Kings went with a Hack a Jakob strategy, and with Poeltl missing from the line, Drew Eubanks was forced to return with 5 minutes left. Fortunately for the Silver and Black, Drew was up to the task as the Spurs extended the lead and the white flag was waved with 2:30 left in the game with the Spurs up by 18. Cam Reynolds, Luka Samanic, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Tre Jones closed out the game as the Spurs won 120-106.
The Crash Test Dummies are one of those bands that are mostly known for just one song, but they have an extensive catalog of great music. Extremely underrated, like the Spurs.
What’s Next . . .
For the Kings fans perspective, visit Sactown Royalty.
The Spurs continue their almost endless homestand against Atlanta tomorrow night at 7:30, and the Hawks have been playing really well lately, so it will be another tough contest for the Silver and Black. The Spurs will have to play well, and can’t give away home games in the final stretch of the season.