The Houston Rockets (7-17) took a trip to San Antonio for a good ole’ fashion Texas showdown. It was the Spurs (6-18) who came out ready to battle a similarly young core like themselves in the Rockets. With consistent momentum, a point of emphasis on defense, and ruthless veteran leadership, the Spurs take down the Rockets 109-118.
FINAL STATS 📊
KJ: 32p | 7r
Tre: 26p | 5a | 3r
Doug: 12p | 3r | 2a
JRich: 12p | 2r | 2a
Romeo: 11p | 5a | 4r
CBassey: 10p | 5r | 4b | 3a
Zach: 10p | 5r | 3a
Malaki: 5p | 3r
Roby: 5r | 2a pic.twitter.com/UYAVq5sP8J
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 9, 2022
One Possession at a Time
three-year veteran Keldon Johnson came into the game with an elevated aggression. He said he was bringing into tonight the energy from the practice the team had Wednesday. The goal was to go one possession at a time and stay in the zone mentally. The results of a zoned-in Keldon were 32 points, seven rebounds, and an assist.
The second leading scorer of the night was Point Guard Tre Jones. Shooting 62.5 percent from the field, Jones scored a new career-high of 26 points; along with five assists and three rebounds.
He accelerated down the floor past his opponents in transition and completed the play with a driving layup to the basket. To Jones one of the easiest ways to score in this game is in transition. His ability to score in that manner is a testament to the type of defense being played by the team tonight.
Playing A “Nasty Game”
This time the Spurs are the team to stretch the lead in the third quarter. However, their passion didn’t keep them from facing setbacks. Zach Collins took a scary fall after taking a charge from Rockets Alperen Sengun as he went up for a dunk.
Collins hit the back of his head on the hardwood but returned to help start the 4th quarter for the night. Coach Pop’s explanation for Collin’s ability to get back in the action was “He plays sort of a nasty game. I enjoy that. We don’t have a whole lot of people who play like that. We have nice guys, but Zach gives us a little bit of nastiness out there, and you need some of that.”
Remaining Even Kill
Although Coach may believe he has a team of nice guys, they are all ready to continue this dominance in Miami on Saturday. I asked McDermott when you have another game in a little over 24 hours, do you ride the high of the wind going into the next game, or do you move on mentally?
McDermott says “I had to learn that every day in the NBA is a new day. You just gotta try and stay even through the whole season. I try to preach that to our guys because you can have a great game one night and the next game get beat by 30. So you just gotta always keep that chip on your shoulder throughout the 82-game season.“
It’s safe to say they will be facing the Miami Heat with a chip on their shoulder. It’s an away game that comes with its own challenges. However, the game is early at 4 PM.
Can the Spurs continue to beat the odds with enough grit and elbow grease as they did against the Rockets?