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Spurs take care of business against the Trail Blazers

The game was over after 24 minutes.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs won their second consecutive game to begin their four game road trip, this time comfortable beating the fast falling, tanking Portland Trail Blazers by 37 points.

The Spurs ended up winning by a large margin but the game didn’t start particularly well after they found themselves in a 9-2 hole. But their superior talent would come to fruition right after, and they showed that by executing a 13-0 run which included three triples and decisive ball movement. The visitors were scorching from the outside with the young, inexperienced Trail Blazers not getting back to shooters fast enough in transition. To make matters worse for the young Portland squad, Dejounte Murray would go on to hit three straight threes in the last 45 seconds of the quarter to push the margin to 18.

In the second the Spurs were scoring at ease against the less talented Blazers — using their physicality to impose themselves on the home team’s defense. Portland’s young guns weren’t going to give in too easy and a run of six straight points forced Gregg Popovich into a timeout with the lead cut to 13. San Antonio responded with another run of multiple makes from the outside, with Keldon Johnson hitting two of them. The Silver & Black cruised for the rest of the quarter scoring whenever they liked and staying active on defense, not allowing the Blazers to gain any momentum. They scored a season high 81 first half points in order to lead by 28 at the interval.

The final 24 minutes of the game was essentially garbage time with the margin never getting below 20 and Portland not being able to make multiple shots in a row. Jakob Poeltl was enjoying himself in this contest with a number of blocks and easy points at the rim. In the fourth, Coach Pop, gave the youngsters and fringe players more minutes and on ball opportunities, with the Spurs two 2021 draft picks, Josh Primo & Joe Wieskamp showing glimpses of their talent. San Antonio won 133-96.

Game Notes

  • Franchise Record. The Spurs hit a franchise record 13 threes in a half in the first 24 minutes of the Portland game. They were red hot from the opening minutes of the contest and kept that momentum going for the rest of the game. They were moving the ball quickly which helped create good looks from the outside.
  • Getting Healthy. The Silver & Black hasn’t been particularly healthy as of late in regards to their depth with a number of rotation players having missed time. But Keita Bates-Diop returned to the lineup against the Blazers, playing in the fourth quarter. While Lonnie Walker IV missed the game, he was seen warming up before the contest which hopefully indicates he is nearly ready to resume playing after missing the last two games. There is still no update on Romeo Langford.
  • Play-In Update. San Antonio are 1.5 games out of the 10th seed with 9 games to play.

Play of the Game

This was Dejounte’s third straight triple in the span of 45 seconds. All three being off the dribble, the development in his outside shot is real.

Spurs Valuable Player (SVP)

3rd place (1 point): Keldon Johnson | 28mins, 26 points, 4 rebounds, 5 triples, +30

Keldon was his usual self against the Blazers making his presence known around the rim while also staying hot from beyond the arc. He was active all game and was rewarded with 26 points and a game high +30.

2nd place (2 points): Jakob Poeltl | 24mins, 16 points, 9 rebounds (6 off), 6 blocks

The Austrian big man dominated his opposition in each of his 24 minutes on the floor. Six blocks on the night as he made the Blazers regret attacking the rim. Jakob destroyed them on the offensive glass which helped increase his points total with easy put backs.

1st place (3 points): Dejounte Murray | 30mins, 28 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 triples

Once again, Dejounte Murray was everywhere on the court. Dejounte did a great job balancing his scoring and getting everyone else involved. He was especially great in transition finding open shooters for easy triples. In the end, he put up a stat line that most players couldn’t do in 48 minutes, yet he did it in 30.

Overall Leaderboard

1st - Dejounte Murray - 114pts

2nd - Jakob Poeltl - 63pts

3rd - Keldon Johnson - 54pts

4th - Derrick White - 51pts

5th - Devin Vassell- 47pts

6th - Lonnie Walker IV - 37pts

7th - Doug McDermott - 16pts

8th - Bryn Forbes - 12pts

9th - Thaddeus Young - 11pts

10th - Tre Jones & Jock Landale - 7pts

11th - Keita Bates-Diop - 6pts

12th - Josh Richardson - 5pts

13th - Josh Primo - 3pts

14th - Drew Eubanks - 2pts

15th - Devontae Cacok, Zach Collins & Joe Wieskamp - 1pt

Next Game: @ Pelicans on Saturday

Another two days off for the Spurs before they go up against Play-In rivals the New Orleans Pelicans. San Antonio will look to exact revenge after getting embarrassed in the last meeting against the Pels.