The Spurs snapped a one-game losing streak (and have now won 3 of their last 10) behind a statistically unlikely trio. Dejounte Murray was up to his usual tricks (he had a lot more up his sleeves, more on that later) with another triple-double, racking up a game-high 23 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. Doug McDermott shot 6 for 9 from downtown to the tune of 20 points, and Devin Vassell was all over the floor Wednesday night with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and a pair of steals to go with a pair of blocks. McDermott, Murray, and Vassell won’t win you any personal injury lawsuits in a court of law, but they certainly made sure the good guys came out with a win on the court of basketball (and life because basketball is life, amirite).
What can we say more about Dejounte Murray this season other than he’s as constant as the Northern Star. Not only did he score a game high in points, but he also had a game high in assists while having only one rebound short of the game high as well. Josh Giddey had 11 rebounds for the Oklahoma Thunder, which was atypical in that both Murray and Giddey are guards who dominated the glass for both teams.
After a 7-game absence, Doug McDermott was still adjusting his way on the court. In his last two games, however, he’s finding his groove again. Following up his 15-point performance against the loss to the Phoenix Suns, Dougie McBuckets lived up to the McBuckets nickname with an on-fire 6 for 9 from deep. He doesn’t have to be the high scorer for the team, but the Spurs are 5-2 if McDermott scores 16 or more points.
Devin Vassell has been steady lately, but steady doesn’t win you games. On Wednesday night, Vassell came out of his shell and kept the gas on the pedal . . . err the pedal on the gas, the FOOT on the gas pedal (it’s been a day). He simply had his hand on both ends of the court. Vassell was a pest on defense and especially aggressive on offense, making 7 shots out of 10 attempts.
The dunk was spectacular, and it had to be because I imagine if Mountain Drew could not convert Dejounte Murray’s sick behind-the-back, between-the-legs pass, Murray would have made him run the same play after practice 100 times with no missed buckets. As someone with OCD tendencies, that’s what I’d imagine, but Murray does not seem one to project his OCD tendencies onto others.
This clip is worth watching 101x because it’s so beautiful. Why 101 and not 100? I’m trying not to be so OCD about everything and being looser with random numbers and stats.
When a pure scorer and elite ball handler like former NBA great and 3-time Sixth Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford, takes notice of Murray’s insane dime, we all should take notice:
Automatic. Doug McDermott was automatic from three-point land tonight. The step-in, square-up shot is as fundamental as it gets.
Devin Vassell went coast-to-coast for this one man defense-to-offense conversion that helped extend the Spurs lead during their three-quarter blitzing of the Thunder.
Look, I don’t make the rules. But if a player makes an insane block on one end and throws a Hail Mary at the basket after the buzzer and makes that bucket, he should be awarded a block and the points not count because the rule is that anything after the buzzer does not count. Well Lonnie Walker’s incredible block was much more climatic than the dumb ol’ rule that won’t let count any buckets made after the clock expired.
Murray and his ball-handling tonight. I think he took Harry Potter’s “Felix Felicis” potion before the game and felt like Harlem Globetrotting his way up and down the court.
If it feels like we’ve talked about everyone else but Keldon Johnson, it’s because there were so many highlights to cover. KJ is no chopped liver on Wednesday, shooting 3 for 5 from deep and being on the scoring end of this hot-potato passing sequence by the Spurs:
ball movement setting on expert pic.twitter.com/BoQ02rBJUJ— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 20, 2022
The win was very nice, the overall play on the floor (in Borat voice), very niiice. We’d like more of that, please.
And last but never least, the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs keep trucking through their home stand and take on the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, January 21, 2022.