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Everyone stepped up in Utah to help the Spurs break free from losing streak

Queen’s I Want to Break Free seems appropriate here.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Spurs won a game was January 17, 2023. A lot has happened since then: “The Last of Us” premiered just two days earlier, the great Richard Belzer passed away, and I actually filed my taxes before mid-April. The Spurs endured a 16-game losing streak that spanned two months. Thankfully, they didn’t lose on Tuesday night to the Jazz, or the good guys would have tied with the likes of the 1965 San Francisco Warriors and the 1968 San Diego (Sahn Di-Ah-Go) Rockets with 17 straight losses on the all-time NBA losing streak list.

Keldon Johnson led the team with 25 points while Doug McDermott provided a scoring punch off the bench with 19 points. McDermott also brought most of the scoring from deep as he shot 5 - 9 from beyond the three-point line. Despite the uneven offensive output, the Spurs managed to provide some highlights in their long overdue win.

“Feeling cute, might spin move off defenders later and put the ball in with my left hand” is what Jeremy Sochan might say if it was 2017. To be fair, it feels like the last time the Spurs won was 5 years ago.

The Spurs prized rookie didn’t have the prettiest game, but he seems to be getting his groove back after returning from injury.

Sochan wasn’t born when Airplane! came out, but it would behoove the young man to watch an American classic, if he hasn’t already. It would also behoove the young Spur to incorporate more of the baby sky hook a la Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Not enough people utilize this uber-efficient shot.

Keita Bates-Diop chased down this block like my dog chases down dropped food from the dinner table. KBD and Johnson were the only Spurs to play over 30 minutes with KBD providing some defense for the Silver and Black.

Bates-Diop spun his defender right ‘round, baby, right ‘round like a record, baby, right ‘round, ‘round, ‘round.

Billy Idol gets it, I don’t know why she doesn’t get it. I still have cable, and E! runs The Wedding Singer a lot. Basically I pay $50 a month for Spurs games and Adam Sandler movies—life is good!

It’s important to highlight Dougie McDermott’s contributions on Tuesday night because the man was a one-player deep threat for the Spurs. His fluid movement and ability to find creases on the court to sling threes are as subtle as Pedro Pascal’s fatherly instincts.

McDermott hadn’t been shooting particularly well during the losing streak, but tonight’s heater from three might be a harbinger of better shooting ahead (but not too hot, if you know what I Wembanyamean).

Despite the growing pains of developing this Spurs team to its rightful return to glory, it’s been a joy to see Johnson’s offensive prowess also grow. He has stepped up his game every year he’s been in the NBA, and he should continue that upward trajectory in the near future. The sky is the limit if Johnson can get his three-point percentage to above 40%.

Malaki Branham twisted his way to the basket for this crazy bucket, but he didn't shout—he must not be a Beatles fan. I’ll hold off judgment until I see him show up to games in a Wings t-shirt.

Branham will look to bounce back from this game and hopefully take his scoring average of 16.8 points per game into March.

They don’t call him Dougie McBuckets because in high school he tried to use a fake ID under the name “McBuckets” to buy alcohol for his friends. Rather, it’s his ability to score anywhere on the court, including this pretty kiss off the glass—he’s also an organ donor.

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

Next up, the Spurs head back home from the RRT to take on the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, March (already??) 2, 2023.