The San Antonio Spurs triumphed over the fourth-place Utah Jazz down the stretch as they locked up the all-time regular-season wins record for head coach Gregg Popovich. Not only did the good guys make history at the AT&T Center, but they secured their first victory trailing entering the fourth quarter this season, performing admirably in the clutch.
The Silver and Black must now refocus for a winnable matchup versus the understaffed Indiana Pacers in what might be their best shot to vault into the tenth seed and establish their place in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Tyrese Haliburton and company stand in their path, and he should give fans an amusing point guard battle with Dejounte Murray.
San Antonio Spurs (26-41) vs. Indiana Pacers (22-45)
March 12, 2022 | 7:00 PM CT
Watch: Bally Sports Southwest | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
DraftKings Odds: Spurs -5.5, O/U 237
Spurs Injuries: Keita Bates-Diop (Out — Back), Devontae Cacok (Out — Heel), Romeo Langford (Out — Hamstring), Doug McDermott (Out — Illness), Josh Primo (Out — Illness), D.J. Stewart (Out — Two Way), Robert Woodard II (Out — Two Way)
Pacers Injuries: Ricky Rubio (Out — Knee), T.J. McConnell (Out — Wrist), Myles Turner (Out — Foot), T.J. Warren (Out — Foot), Malcolm Brodgdon (Out — Concussion Protocol), Lance Stephenson (Out — Ankle), Goga Bitadze (Game Time Decision — Foot)
What To Watch For
- San Antonio should win this game handily as the openly rebuilding Pacers enter Saturday night without Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner, T.J. McConnell, Lance Stephenson, and Goga Bitazde. With that said, the Spurs have dropped more than their fair share of favorable matchups this year, including what should have been gimmes versus the Pistons, Kings (x2), Thunder, and Rockets. The Silver and Black are also fresh off a 48-minute crunch time free-for-all against the Utah Jazz less than 24 hours ago, and the momentum from helping Gregg Popovich secure the all-time regular-season wins record could push them to victory. On the flip side, all the effort it took to walk away with a last-second dub could leave their shorthanded roster running on fumes. Anything is possible when the good guys square off against a 13th place Pacers squad, so as always, prepare for the unexpected.
- These Pacers are not the same team San Antonio lost 118-131 earlier this season. Rumors swirled about Indiana looking to rebuild from the bottom at the trade deadline, and general manager Chad Buchanan picked up the phone and got to work. Out went Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, Caris LeVert, and Torrey Craig, and in arrived Jalen Smith, Ricky Rubio, Buddy Hield, and Tyrese Haliburton. Head coach Rick Carlisle has now structured his offense around Haliburton, giving him near free reign to do as he pleases for 37.9 minutes per game. The burgeoning stud of a point guard has averaged 19.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 9.5 assists since becoming the face of the franchise, and the Spurs will have to keep him in check if they want to take care of business without any hiccups. Don’t be surprised if Pop sends a steady diet of Dejounte Murray, Josh Richardson, and Devin Vassell Haliburton’s way throughout the matchup.
- Indiana has been torching the twine from three-point-land since the trade deadline, nailing 37.4% of their 35.5 long-range attempts per game across that span. Their perimeter renaissance started instantly after adding elite sharpshooter Buddy Hield, but other fresh and familiar faces on the roster have been just as influential. Hield, Goga Bitadze, Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, Malcolm Brogdon, Jalen Smith, and Duane Washington Jr. have all shot above league-average (35%) from beyond the arc since the Pacers entered tank mode. Their hot hands have won them a few games over the last month, and the Spurs can’t afford to doze off at home versus a lesser opponent. San Antonio held the Jazz to 13-of-40 (32.5%) on the outside last time out, and that sort of effort should be more than enough to stifle the shorthanded and inexperienced Pacers.
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