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Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson flash in Spurs loss to Trail Blazers

Basketball has its ups and downs: we call them dribbling.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Twice is nice, but unfortunately, the San Antonio Spurs could not notch two wins in a row. Keldon Johnson led the team with 29 points along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and Devin Vassell scored 22 points with 4 steals. Despite the close loss to the Trail Blazers, the team put up some worthy highlights.

Sweet Baby Ray. Devin Vassell showed off some of his sweet moves to the basket with a delicious reverse layup. Vassell has been a two-way menace his last three games, putting in a minimum 44% shooting on averages of 16 attempts and swiping the ball on the defensive end with 3 - 4 steals per game during this span.

Keldon Johnson outran everyone on this play for the finishing flush. Johnson’s fingerprints were all over this game as evidenced by box score stuffing of points, rebounds, and assists. The fifth-year man continues to contribute, even in his new role off the bench.

The Zach Collins finish was pleasant, but Jeremy Sochan’s football pass to Collins was especially delightful. Sochan himself had several nice finds in this game in setting his teammates up to score.

Big crossover for the Big Body. Johnson displayed some nifty footwork to find his way to the bucket for two.

Some of the most famous left-handed people include Babe Ruth, Bill Gates, Julia Roberts, Nikola Tesla, Jimi Hendrix, Helen Keller, and Ned Flanders. While Malaki Branham is not left-handed, but this emphatic slam that he threw down with the southpaw was quite tantalizing. Stupid, sexy Flanders.

Kids, don’t be a bully and take your classmates’ lunch money. But if you’re Collins, center for the San Antonio Spurs, you should absotively be taking your colleagues’ basketball when they drive in the paint. Collins had a solid start filling in for Victor Wembanyama with 17 points in 18 minutes before exiting early due to an ankle injury — which hopefully will turn out not to be serious.

Dominick Barlow ran hard toward the basket and was promptly rewarded with a nifty bounce pass from Branham. Fun fact about Barlow: He was born in 2003, otherwise known as the early 2000s, which doesn’t really help my tilting whenever I see references to my growing up in the “late 1900s.”

If you missed the game because you were too busy making New Year’s resolutions, here are the full-game highlights:

Next up, the Spurs return to the Frost Bank Center to take on the Boston Celtics on Sunday, December 31, 2023.