The short-staffed San Antonio Spurs squad hung tight with the New York Knicks for the better part of three quarters, but their lack of depth caught up to them in the final frame as they ran out of steam. Despite dropping a third consecutive contest to finish their seven-game road trip, head coach Gregg Popovich and crew should head back to the AT&T Center with their chins held high.
Dejounte Murray was up to his standard stat-stuffing escapades with 24 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals, despite logging nearly 40 minutes on the first night of a back-to-back a little more than 24 hours before tipoff. Lonnie Walker IV added 15 points, Jakob Poeltl pitched in 12 points and ten boards, and Josh Primo tallied 11 points in his third-straight start for the Silver and Black.
Although all hope seemed to be lost for Jakob Poeltl when he got caught in the middle of a three-on-one fastbreak, the sixth-year center stood his ground and obliterated RJ Barrett’s layup off the backboard.
Dejounte Murray utilized a high ball screen from Drew Eubanks to create some space from beyond the arc before confidently rising off the dribble and banging home a pull-up three-pointer off the back of the iron.
DJ out there makin' it look easy pic.twitter.com/rOJ5tFDKQW— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 11, 2022
Josh Primo made the Knicks defense pay for momentarily falling asleep as the rookie combo guard nailed a catch-and-shoot triple from the right corner courtesy of a heads-up assist from Tyler Johnson.
Lonnie Walker IV picked off a lax inbounds pass from Mitchell Robinson, tiptoed on the sidelines to retain possession of the rock, and found Bryn Forbes sprinting down the court for a transition trifecta.
New York had no answer for Dejounte Murray throughout the night as the sixth-year floor general got to the rim at will, blowing by a vulnerable Alec Burks and absorbing the contact to convert the and-one.
The Spurs rarely ask fourth-year forward Keita Bates-Diop to take the ball up the court, but he put on his best point guard impression as he hit Drew Eubanks in stride for an uncontested two-handed slam.
San Antonio has excelled at generating effortless offense on fastbreaks this season, and they transformed some textbook verticality from Primo into a wide-open corner three for Lonnie Walker IV.
the guys handled business on both ends pic.twitter.com/4r0YWGcs67— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 11, 2022
And as always, here are the full-game highlights.