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The high notes of the Spurs loss to the Cavaliers

Winning isn’t everything but wanting to win is.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The young Spurs fought valiantly to close a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, but despite their effort, it was not enough to get the win a Sunday matinee against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Victor Wembanyama led the team with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Devin Vassell poured in 22 points with 3 steals while Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones contributed 18 points apiece.

As the Spurs battle through more growing pains on the road to finding ways to win and win consistently, several nuggets stood out from Sunday’s game.

On this play early in the game, Victor Wembanyama showed off some vision and quick decision-making with this nice bounce pass to a cutting Tre Jones for the bucket. The vision and play-making ability are part of the rookie’s growing repertoire, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Spurs fans want to see more of the offense flow through him.

Keldon Johnson intercepted this pass and free-squared his way unimpeded to the basket for the dunk. Johnson continues to be a force off the bench, but in Manu-esque style still plays big minutes and finishes games down the stretch.

Blake Wesley brought the hammer home after the Spurs defense put the screws to get the turnover. The defense had 10 steals so it felt like a lot of easy points in transition came off of several great defensive stands. The game total was 232, and in today’s NBA that is definitely a defensive battle.

Devin Vassell’s shot is as smooth as butter on a Whataburger Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuit, which should be available before 11 PM and after 11 AM. Give the people what they want! Vassell continues to scorch from downtown as he went 4 - 9 and has made 10 total from beyond the arc in the last two games.

For the season, Vassell is shooting 38%, and it feels like that number could be north of 40 with more reps and more confidence as Vassell establishes more consistency.

Cedi Osman had a nice dish served up for Dominick Barlow with the finishing flush. Osman and Barlow soaked up most of the bench minutes (aside from Johnson) and contributed valuable spot points and rebounds.

Wembanyama started this sequence with a vicious block right to Vassell who then pushed it back to Wemby again in the high post where he found an open Johnson for a three. Once again, it feels like the potential ROY has the ability to have his fingerprints all over the game on both ends of the floor. All of this despite playing on a minutes restriction is definitely an optimistic view that the team will eventually coalesce around his budding talent and string together some wins.

Pick 2 by Wembanyama is when the phenom picks your pocket and goes the other way for an easy two. Pick 2 by Wembanyama could also be a weekly curated selection of movies he’s recommending. This week, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Wemby’s two movies are “Ready to Rumble” and “Rounders.” Two sports movies that start with the letter “R.” Why not? Let’s gooooooo

If you missed the game because you were too busy debating whether to drive to Whataburger or having DoorDashed, here are the full-game highlights:

Next up, the Spurs head to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.