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Keldon Johnson and the starting five dominate the Rockets in blowout win

The Spurs came out flying against the Rockets

NBA: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

You win some, you lose some. When you’re the Spurs, stuck in purgatory between the far-away optimism of the 2022 draft lottery and the immediate satisfaction of having a puncher’s chance of making the playoffs this year, you’d better win the occasional game against the conference’s last place team.

For the night, Keldon Johson led all players with 28 points shooting an uber-efficient 11-17 and 3-6 from deep. Jakob Poeltl notched another double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Dejounte Murray and Doug McDermott each chipped in with 19 points, while Murray added more fuel to the burning fire that is his late campaign to make the All-Star team with 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.

Keldon Johnson was phenomenal tonight in leading the team in scoring. In fact, other than the Miami game, Johnson has played very well of late even eclipsing the 20-point mark in 3 out of his last 5 games. He’s finding different ways to score while also letting loose from three-point land.

It’s good to have Zach Collins back. Hope springs eternal, and while it’s below freezing right now in SATX, all I feel is the warmth of knowing Collins looked pretty darn good out there in his limited 13 minutes of court time. Having that second reliable big behind Poeltl won’t solve all of the Spurs’ problems, but it solves one problem . . . the lack of a second reliable big behind Poeltl. Life is rarely more simple than that.

Two-on-one is just not fair. Keldon Johnson one-on-one with a basketball rim is even less fair. Johnson made sure to deliver this pie home to the extreme satisfaction of the home crowd.

I don’t want to start a debate, but I am a big proponent of social distancing–especially when it comes to open threes like this. Doug McDermott was so open, he had time to put on an N95 facemask and then drain this gift-wrapped three from Jakob Poeltl.

Keldon Johnson is the type of person who sees a basketball rim like a bull sees red. Johnson punctuated this nice alley-oop from Dejounte Murray with his usual combination of power and enthusiasm. The good guys had their offense clicking on all cylinders on Friday night, and this play summed up how in-sync the team was–especially in the second half.

Jakob Poeltl seems like such a nice guy. I bet after every block, he tells the opposing player, “I’m sorry my dude, hope you have a nice day.”

Dejounte Murray is out here showing off his crossover skills and moves to the basket with aplomb. That’s a word more people should use: aplomb. Just like Murray is a player more people should be aware of: the man deserves that All-Star spot!

Oh my, Dougie McBuckets with the svelte move to the basket for a lay-up off of the Derrick White feed. It should be noted that White also had 7 assists, and usually when both Murray and White are actively finding their teammates easy buckets, the Spurs offense flows like buttah down the riverwalk. Also quit polluting the riverwalk with butter. It’s not sanitary, y’all.

Devin Vassell had no regard for human life when he flew into the lane for this acrobatic lay-in. The second-year phenom navigated through traffic and rewarded himself with two points.

Josh Primo is only averaging about 5 points per game in his first 25 games. You know who else only averaged about 5 points per game in his first 25 games? Kobe Bryant. Am I making a dubiously stretched analogy? Sure. But it’s the weekend, and after two cold days down here, the exaggerated eternal hope of who Josh Primo could be is the only thing keeping me warm.

Oh yeah, also peep this flying dunk Primo makes early in the game off of a nice dish from Murray.

Dejounte Murray showed off his hops here, but most importantly he showed off his hustle, which is something he’s had in excess this season.

I just love this sequence so much. Realistically, it shows Murray’s hawking defense, batting the ball away from the opposing team, then finding McDermott for a flying circus reverse layup. Idealistically, especially in these city edition unis, I imagine the Flint Tropics running this play with Andre 3000 feeding a flying Will Ferrell for the circus reverse layup. This was a nice game without any suspense to the outcome, and these type of games give plenty of fodder for the imagination.

And last but never least, the full-game highlights:

Next up, the Spurs take 5 days off before they embark on the Hero’s Journey known as the annual Rodeo Road Trip, which starts at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.