The good guys returned from the All-Star break and resumed their Rodeo Road Trip with a thrilling win over the Washington Wizards. Keldon Johnson led the team with 32 points, going 5-9 from three-point. Dejounte Murray notched another triple-double with 31 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. Jakob Poeltl almost joined his teammate in the triple-dub club, but he got a double-double on his way to 28 points, 11 points, and 8 assists. Lonnie Walker IV came off the bench and poured in 23 points.
Dejounte Murray, fresh off his first All-Star appearance, wasted no time in getting back in the groove of leading his team. From defense to offense, Murray continues to have his fingerprint in every facet of the game. He is a long way from being a relatively unknown player and his newfound All-Star fame will no doubt draw more attention from both opposing teams and any casual NBA fan. That being said, the young man will still stuff the stat sheet and look to keep the Spurs in contention.
Lonnie, Lonnie he likes to party,
He don’t cause trouble, he don’t bother nobody.
Snoop Dogg would like this nasty throw down from Walker, and he didn’t even have to hang upside down like 50 Cent to impress the crowd.
Dejounte Murray creating his own shot is one of the last skills to complete his transformation into a franchise player. This season, the Spurs have benefitted from Murray being able to manufacture some points when the offense needs some creativity. He’s not quite to DeMar Derozan-levels of one-on-one breakdowns, but he did have a good teacher when Derozan was still rolling in Silver and Black.
Keldon Johnson muscled his way to the hoop. Johnson has been on an offensive renaissance as of late, scoring at least 13 points in the last 7 games, attempting double-digit shot attempts, and hitting 100% of his free throws in that span. The third year forward’s uptick in offensive output is coinciding in a stretch where the Spurs have won 5 out of their last 7 games.
Speaking of resurgences, Lonnie Walker’s stretch since the Derrick White trade might have been what was needed to get his inconsistent play to be more consistent. This play here where Walker just confidently lets loose a three displays his willingness to shoot, which the Spurs certainly need more of. Walker has double-digit shot attempts in the last four games, and has averaged 19.5 points over those four games.
Doug McDermott wasn’t able to make a three-pointer on Friday night, but Dougie McBuckets pulled out the tricks on this play with a reverse lay-up past the defenders. McDermott continues to start for the Spurs, taking on the task of stretching opposing defenses with his three-point threat. But as this play shows, he has other ways of contributing.
Doug in his bag with the crafty reverse pic.twitter.com/ZWDUNzB5cr— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 26, 2022
Here, Devin Vassell wisely adjusts at the last moment to avoid his head being lopped off by the Wizards defender.
Zach Collins is still working his way back from injury, but it’s encouraging to see his spot minutes as the backup center. The Spurs seem to be capping his minutes at no more than 18, but hopefully Spurs fans will see more from the big man as he gets more comfortable.
The pick-and-roll where Jakob Poeltl smoothly pops a shot from the free throw line is the most unique play in the NBA. It’s unguardable, it’s unexpected, it’s beautiful.
Jak-A-Shot ✌️— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 26, 2022
working the pick & roll to perfection‼️ pic.twitter.com/bgtJQp0zUr
Dejounte Murray’s movement with the ball as he works his way to the basket for either a hoop or a dime is a wonderful sight to behold this season. His vast improvement in this area is another reason he’s taken that next step to elite play.
And last but never least, the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs head down south to take on the Miami Heat on Saturday, February 26, 2022.