Fourth quarter struggles doom Spurs, lose to Salt Lake City

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CEDAR PARK – The Austin Spurs tied their season-high for turnovers in a game, as the silver and black dropped their second straight game, falling to the Salt Lake City Stars, 101-93.

Spurs assignee Dejounte Murray led the way for Austin with 30 points. Murray also flirted with a triple-double, finishing with eight rebounds and seven assists. Cory Jefferson managed another strong performance with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Davis Bertans struggled on offense, finishing with just 10 points.

For Salt Lake City, the Stars picked up their second win of the season behind a double-double from Henry Sims. His 22 points and 11 rebounds paced Salt Lake City, while Tyrone Wallace put up 22 points as well, coming off the bench for the Stars. JJ O’Brien finished with 14 points and six assists, while former North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige had 11 points.

The first quarter saw four lead changes between both teams, as Austin failed to stop Sims on the offensive end. Sims finished the quarter with 11 points, giving the Stars an early 30-25 lead.

Austin’s offense continued to sputter in the second quarter, with the Spurs turning the ball over seven times in the period. But Salt Lake City would struggle from beyond the arc in the quarter, allowing the Spurs to take a 50-49 lead into halftime.

A 9-2 run by the Salt Lake City started the third quarter, but Austin would claw back with some help from Jefferson and Charles Garcia. The Spurs held on to a one point lead heading into the final quarter.

Dejounte Murray’s finger roll with 8:56 left in the fourth quarter would tie the game at 76, before a 9-0 Salt Lake City run would span the Spurs four-minute scoring drought, putting the Stars in control throughout the rest of the game. Although Murray managed to score 14 of his 30 points in the final quarter, it wouldn’t be enough for the Spurs as they fell 101-93.

The Austin Spurs (4-4) will attempt to get back on track during their upcoming five game road trip.

Their first stop will be against a familiar foe, as the silver and black will hit the road to take on the Oklahoma City Blue (6-4). Tipoff is at 7 p.m. CST from the Cox Convention Center. The game will be broadcast simultaneously on the NBA Development League’s Facebook page.

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