SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs are a young team but losses, like they’ve experienced so far in the 2021-22 season, will only help them grow into a juggernaut of a team in the future.
The young Spurs got another learning experience in a 125-121 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers (2-3) at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night.
The loss is the third straight for San Antonio, whose last three defeats have been by an average of six points.
“They went toe to toe with a talented, experienced group,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “If they continue to play like that, hopefully, that worm will turn and these will turn into wins. They deserve it.”
Here are three standout moments from the Spurs’ overtime loss to the LA Lakers:
Without question, Jakob Poeltl had one of the best games of his career against the Lakers. The big man posted 27 points and 14 rebounds and had three huge blocks, including one on Anthony Davis.
Poeltl played the pick and roll game with Dejounte Murray, getting to the rim for easy baskets and fighting off Davis and DeAndre Jordan for offensive rebounds on the glass. Poeltl is proving himself to be a worthy big man and go to website when paired with Jock Landale, San Antonio can have a lethal one-two punch in the paint.
Lonnie catches fire
After he did not get his contract picked up by the team, Lonnie Walker IV has been needing to prove he’s worth a new deal. If he continues to have games as he did on Tuesday night, he’ll have a new deal inked in no time.
Walker scored a season-high 21 points, including going 5-for-7 from three-point range. He remained aggressive and was looking for his shot each time down the floor. Having a point guard like Murray also helps matters too. Walker said these past three games, despite being losses, have shown this team can go toe-to-toe with the best.
“We have that intensity, the players and the chemistry together that all we want is to just win. We don’t really care about stats, we don’t have egos, we just want to win,” he said.
Dejounte and Devin continue to gel
A big reason why the Spurs were in the game on Tuesday in addition to Poeltl and Walker’s play was the games that Murray and Devin Vassell had to nearly send the Lakers to a fourth loss on the season.
Murray posted 21 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds for his fifth career triple-double. His game-winning shot went off the front of the rim in regulation as the game went into overtime. The former Washington Huskie has shown how he is the defensive anchor but also a driving force on the offensive end. However, the loss still stings for him.
“That’s a bad dude right there, man. Making all the right plays,” Walker said of Murray after the game. “That’s our point guard, that’s the leader of our team, in my opinion.”
Another up-and-coming star is Devin Vassell. He finished with 19 points and picked off Russell Westbrook for a lay-in. His awareness on court led to a three-pointer heave that went in.
It’s just a matter of time for these young Spurs.
“We are right there,” Vassell said. “It is so frustrating being right there and not coming out with a victory, especially three times in a row, you know what I’m saying?”
The Spurs are now 1-3 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they travel to face the Dallas Mavericks (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. from the American Airlines Center.