The San Antonio Spurs came up short against the second-place Memphis Grizzlies in a back-and-forth battle between two of the youngest teams in the NBA. Though the good guys fought to make it a one-possession game during the second half, Ja Morant proved to be too hot for them to handle as he exploded for a career-high 52 points.
Lonnie Walker IV punctuated his fantastic Rodeo Road Trip performance with another promising outing, pacing the Silver and Black with 22 points off the bench. Dejounte Murray chipped in 21 points, three rebounds, and eight assists, while Jakob Poeltl packed the box score with 16 points, ten rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block.
Dejounte Murray showed off his defensive prowess on display on the first possession of the contest, pocketing a careless pass from Ja Morant for a layup and hustling back for a resounding chase-down block.
wasting no time!! + ♂️@DejounteMurray | #PorVida https://t.co/oRRZd7XB0i pic.twitter.com/PdkGZElfrk— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
Dejounte has developed impeccable chemistry with Jakob Poeltl. And the tandem connected after Murray lost his defender with a backdoor cut and delivered a precision overhead pass to his diving center.
if "sharing is caring" was a basketball team pic.twitter.com/zlrRookvSr— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
Lonnie Walker IV detonated for 11 points in 6 minutes off the bench in the first quarter, including this masterful midrange jumper as the 23-year-old swingman stopped on a dime before unloading on the defense.
RODEO LONNIE ACTIVATED @lonniewalker_4 : 11 PTS in 6 min pic.twitter.com/6OCoxZ1CKh— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
Science tells us a human being can’t generate enough force to tear down a breakaway rim. But Keldon Johnson came incredibly close to disproving that theory as he threw down a resounding fastbreak slam.
RIM RATTLING https://t.co/5tsgZesFq8 pic.twitter.com/AZVqRIiRhq— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
San Antonio’s starting point guard has been getting to the free-throw line at a solid rate since being named an All-Star, and he flipped in an and-one over Defensive Player of the Year candidate Jaren Jackson Jr.
that first step mad quick @DejounteMurray | #PorVida pic.twitter.com/JyN7Zh8fs8— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
Although Keldon Johnson is still learning the ins and outs of becoming a reliable defender, he showed off his improved instincts with an excellent weakside rotation to reject a white-hot Ja Morant at the basket.
not on KJ's watch pic.twitter.com/VHZWxXivK1— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
Doug McDermott has been on a tear from beyond the arc since the Rodeo Road Trip started, and the eighth-year forward continued torching nets as he drained a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter.
Doug makes it look easy— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
knocked down 3 of his 4 triples in the 3rd pic.twitter.com/TH3oJDvj90
Lonnie drove into the teeth of the defense, took off from the middle of the paint, split Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke mid-flight, and converted a bonkers up-and-under layup off the backboard.
& under @lonniewalker_4 | #PorVida pic.twitter.com/7nZJK3RxY9— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 1, 2022
And as always, here are the full game highlights.