Jakob Poeltl had a career night with 31 points and 14 rebounds for a career-high double-double Tuesday. Unfortunately, the memory will be bittersweet because it came in a 117-110 loss to the Portland Trailblazers. The Spurs knew coming into the game it would be a tough match. The Trailblazers are at the top of the Western Conference, and it was an all-out slugfest. Let’s break down this hard-fought loss.
"I just tried to be aggressive with it…I just felt like I had a good touch going."#Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl talks about his career night against the Blazers.@spurs | #PorVida | #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/pSWDUswtTx— Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) November 16, 2022
Spurs Keeping It Close Against Trailblazers
The Spurs kept the score close for most of the game. Poeltl wasn’t the only one putting up points, Devin Vassell had 21 points and Keldon Johnson was right there with 20 points of his own. Tre Jones returned to the team after missing the last game due to a stomach illness. Jones was a pillar of the Spurs’ defensive effort and had 2 points and 10 assists, and helped push the pace of the game. The fast pace seemed to frustrate the Trailblazers a few times. Unfortunately for the silver and black the Trailblazers outrebounded them, had fewer turnovers, and made seven more 3-point shots. Jerami Grant led Portland with 29 points and Damian Lillard had 22 points and 11 assists for a double-double.
Turnovers Cost The Spurs Big Time
It’s easy to say that turnovers make all the difference, but in this game, it couldn’t ring more true. The Spurs pulled ahead early in the 4th quarter and hit a cold streak that allowed Portland to close the gap and go ahead. There were 3 possessions where the Spurs could tie or take the lead, and Johnson overturned the ball on each of them. In a post-game interview, Poeltl said, “…we can’t have nights like tonight where their runs are being fueled by our turnovers.”
Smoking Hot Kings Up Next
The Spurs will face the Sacramento Kings next in the third game of this west coast road trip. The Spurs will surely be taking their day off to study game film from the last two games. The Kings just obliterated the Brooklynn Nets 153-121. The Kings’ Terence Davis scored 31 points off the bench. The Spurs will need to make some adjustments and have a strong defensive effort if they want to steal a win from this red-hot Kings squad in front of the Sacramento fans.
What stood out to you in this Spurs Trailblazers matchup? Who will take the next one, the Spurs or the Kings?