You know that scene in Anchorman where the Channel 4 News Team (Ron Burgundy, Brian Fantana, Champ Kind, and Brick Tamland) is facing off with Wes Mantooth and the Evening News Team? When Wes Mantooth is monologuing and Brick Tamland suddenly appears on the Evening News Team’s side, that’s how I felt seeing Patty Mills wearing a Brooklyn Nets jersey on Sunday morning. While we’re at it, I think it’s obvious that Dejounte Murray is Ron Burgundy, Derrick White is Brian Fantana, and Keldon Johnson is Champ Kind. Brick Tamland? Well, let’s just say 60% of the time, some wounds don’t heal every time.
Alas, the good guys were missing 6 players due to health and safety protocols, but the team fought admirably against Kevin Durant (who definitely gives off some great Wes Mantooth vibes), James Harden, and company. Lonnie Walker led the team with a season-high 25 points while Dejounte Murray filled up the box score to the tune of 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 12 assists. Jakob Poeltl notched another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds along with 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Lonnie Walker was not particularly efficient in scoring on Sunday morning, but he and Dejounte Murray both looked to score as they led the Spurs in shot attempts. In his last four games, Walker attempted at least 10 shots. It’s fair to say that Walker is looking to score more this season, and his continued aggressiveness will be a boon for the Spurs’ offense.
Dejounte Murray continues to be the floor and box score leader for the Spurs this season. Not only does he lead the team in points per game, but also assists per game, steals per game, and is second overall in rebounds per game (behind Jakob Poeltl). Murray’s return to the lineup was crucial for the Spurs as they went 0-4 without him. They are 1-2 since his return, but there’s no doubt that the team is rudderless without their leader.
Lonnie Walker probed his way through a bevy of Nets defenders for this tough shot. Much has been made about Manu Ginobili taking in Walker as his padawan learner, and fearless moves like this only cements the thought that Walker is listening and learning from the great one.
Sheesh that's TUFF— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
20-piece for @lonniewalker_4! pic.twitter.com/0I35ICMhZJ
Dejounte Murray commodore’d his way to the basket with this easy peasy layup after blowing by the defense. Today’s start time was atypical, but Sunday morning games might not be a bad idea. A win would put you in a good mood for the rest of the day as you wrap up your weekend. A loss would sting, but you could drown it out with mimosas, brunch, and the Indianapolis Colts losing to the 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars to miss the playoffs.
DJ making it look easy like Sunday morning #DejounteMurray | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/cFj2QYq3XE— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
Jakob Poeltl went dining out early on Dejounte Murray’s dime. This connection has been there all season, and you love to see it happen as much as possible. As Murray has grown into being the main distributor this season, Poeltl has particularly benefited from being on the scoring end of the assists.
The dime. The dunk.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
YOU LOVE TO SEE IT! pic.twitter.com/3HK19fKcUl
Blockob Poeltl is just out here doing what he does best. With Valentine’s Day coming up, opposing players brave enough to venture into the paint should prepare to be rejected by Poeltl.
BLOCKOB! pic.twitter.com/IekWn99Mis— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
Oh my, Jock Landale! Think of the children! Landale played a modest 16 minutes but poured in 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists. The rookie big man continues to find his NBA legs as the first big off the bench for Coach Popovich. In the new year, Landale is attempting 2.2 threes per game and draining them at a rate of 45%—so he definitely brings a different dynamic to the offense as a stretch big.
Our guys are battling in Brooklyn! #PorVida pic.twitter.com/XLKpJUhFIR— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
Every team needs a wild card. On Sunday, Devontae Cacok did his best Charlie Kelly impression by providing 15 minutes of chaos and spark off the bench. Cacok had 8 points, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 6 rebounds in his limited time on the court. The third-year player has been a double-double machine for the Austin Spurs and immediately makes his presence known when given the chance in call-ups to the NBA this season.
Don't hurt the rim, @Vontae__15 pic.twitter.com/ZplgT3kA8K— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 9, 2022
Welcome to the jungle, Josh Primo! You’re gonna make us all proud! Primo was cooler than being cool with this ice cold, game-tying shot to send the Spurs into overtime. Out of necessity, the rookie is getting more minutes with the team and taking the extra responsibilities in stride. On this roster, Primo does not have to carry the burden of the franchise, but more NBA minutes will certainly not “ruin him.”
Josh Primo from deep...10-0 @spurs run to tie the game!— NBA (@NBA) January 9, 2022
40 seconds left: https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa pic.twitter.com/n8Ya6PWKpR
If 11 AM Central Time was too early (or too late if you’re a vampire) for you, here are the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs take the A-Train (I don’t know the train schedule in New York City—I assume they are all called A-Trains and you pay in calzones) to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks on Monday, January 10, 2022.