SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs snapped their four game losing streak with a 108-101 win over the Charlotte Hornets at the AT&T Center on Friday night.
The game was the second of a six game home-stand for the Silver and Black, who got their first win since October 25 in Miami. Friday saw the bench come alive and lead San Antonio to victory, much to the delight of the Spurs fans at the arena. Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs as well as four standout players: Bryn Forbes, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
- San Antonio got the victory and snapped their four game losing streak, their longest in two seasons.
- The Spurs bench came alive for the first time this season, scoring 64 points. This provided much needed help for LaMarcus Aldridge, who has carried the scoring load for the Silver and Black through the first eight games of the campaign.
- Rudy Gay got back into form.
- Welcome back Patty Mills
- San Antonio’s second half struggles continued on Friday night. Charlotte went on two separate runs of 10-0 and 9-0 respectively to climb back into the game after the Spurs took a double digit lead.
- The Spurs struggled from 3-point range, going 9-of-27 for 33 percent. In their loss against Golden State on Thursday, the Silver and Black shot just 29 percent from beyond the arc.
Four Standout Players:
Bryn Forbes: With the Spurs struggling to score in the first half, Coach Gregg Popovich inserted the second year guard, hoping to provide a spark for the team. The move paid off as Forbes scored a team-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and shot 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Forbes’ performance is a welcome sign for Pop, who showed confidence in the young guard by allowing him to finish out the game. Forbes showed no fear going up against Charlotte guard Kemba Walker and had teammates find him for the open three, showing his skills of moving without the basketball.
Rudy Gay: The newest Spurs forward took the clock back to his Sacramento days as he scored 20 points off the bench on 8-of-15 shooting. Gay threw the ball down for a few thunderous dunks, showing he has recovered just fine from his Achilles injury he suffered last January.
Gay continues to perform well, a good sign for San Antonio. Combined with Aldridge’s play and Leonard returning soon from injury, it will make the Spurs offense even more lethal for opponents.
Patty Mills: Friday night showed Spurs fans why the Aussie guard was re-signed for $50 million during the offseason. Mills scored 17 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. He connected of four of his seven three-point attempts, providing the juice the second unit desperately was searching for.
Despite starting the game, Mills’ performance should be a confidence boost for the rest of the season. The guard stayed aggressive through his shooting slump and remained even more aggressive with his shot falling on Friday. This is a welcome sign for the Spurs coaching staff as well as the fans.
LaMarcus Aldridge: After carrying the Spurs on the offensive end for the first eight games of the season, Aldridge finished with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.
Since Aldridge carried the heavy load on the San Antonio offense on Thursday, he seemed slightly fatigued on Friday. Luckily he did not have to do much of the work with San Antonio’s bench carrying the load to victory. The bench play by the Spurs will be key to getting Aldridge some much needed help on offense until Kawhi Leonard returns from injury.
Up next: The Spurs are now 5-4 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night to continue their six-game home-stand against the Phoenix Suns at the AT&T Center at 6 p.m.