Man oh man, the Spurs win over the Wizards sure was a great game to watch. The lack of defense by both teams surely helped, but the team that had the ball still needed to make all those shots. Despite being a game between two teams trying to qualify for the “Play-In” games, it might have been the most enjoyable game I have watched all year. (Ignoring the Derrick White injury. ”Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”)
The game reminded me of the Spurs double overtime win over the Houston Rockets in December 2019. We all remember that game as the coming out party for Lonnie Walker IV. I wrote about that game in a piece entitled “The Spurs - Rockets game defied all box score logic.”
The Spurs - Wizards game had many of the same qualities, including some very cool box score surprises. One thing the Spurs - Wizards game did NOT have was a break-out game from young Mr. Walker. More about that below.
Who else noticed these nuggets from the box score?
1. The three leading scorers were all perimeter players: Bradley Beal, who scored 45 points, DeMar DeRozan, with 37, and Dejounte Murray, with 25. How many three-pointers did these three perimeter players make in the 125 minutes they played while scoring 107 points between them? Zero.
2. The next two leading scorers were Russell Westbrook (22) and Keldon Johnson (21). They made the same number of threes as Beal, DeRozan and Murray: Zero.
3. Now let’s look at the entire Spurs starting line-up. How many threes did the Spurs starting five make? Also zero.
4. Next, how about all of the Wizards guards — starters and bench guys. How many threes? None. The Wizards’ six three pointers were made by center Alex Len (7’0”) and power forwards Anthony Gill (6’7”), Davis Bertrans (6’10”) and Rui Hachimura (6’8”). The Spurs also made a total of six three pointers. Patty Mills, with three of them, was the only guard on either team to make a three-point shot.
5. Despite that three-point shooting, the teams scored a total of 289 points.
But wait, there’s more.
6. In plus-minus news, Walker played 20 minutes and “accomplished” the following: 0 for 3 from the floor, 1 rebound, 1 assist, zero steals, zero blocks. Lonnie was plus 5 for the game. Devin Vassel, officially played zero minutes, but somehow wound up with a minus-3. Dejounte Murray put up a 25/17!!/5 line, with three steals vs. only one turnover. He was a team worst minus-5. Russell Westbrook put up a seemingly impressive 22/13/14 triple double. His plus-minus was a game-worst minus-11. Perhaps Russell’s 9 for 26 from the floor hurt, as did the fact that he had 75% (!!) of his team’s turnovers (6 of the Wizards’ 8). Oh, he also had a technical foul.
7. In the “good news” category, the Spurs had even fewer turnovers than the Wizards. Despite the incredibly fast pace of the game, the Spurs committed only six turnovers in the 53 minutes of game-time.
8. Let’s end with the pile of random stats: The Wizards had 8 blocked shots to the Spurs 1, 50 rebounds to the Spurs 44, 18 offensive rebounds to the Spurs 13, and 58 made shots to the Spurs 55. But this is the key stat: Wins. Spurs 1, Wizards 0. It was the first Wizards loss in nine games. And a game the Wizards players and coaches are still trying to figure out. Going to the box score won’t help them.
If you want to search for other cool stuff, here is the box score. Enjoy!