Keldon Johnson’s Career Night Pushes Spurs Past Nets 106-98

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January 17, 2023, San Antonio, TX: during the third quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Tuesday, January 17, 2023. (Photo by Reginald Thomas II/San Antonio Spurs) via spurs.com/media

One thing the San Antonio Spurs know how to do is keep the fans on their toes. That was the energy all night in the AT&T Center as they faced the Brooklyn Nets. Well, most of them anyway. The Nets entered into this battle lacking Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but that didn’t stop them from putting up a good fight. In the end, the Spurs overcome the Nets with a 106-98 win.  

Push the Pace, Win the Race

Starting off the competition the Spurs pushed the pace of the game and got shots up early. This caused them to explode into a lead that left Brooklyn to catch up too. The Spurs were shooting at 40% while the Nets started off at a mere 28%. Jakob Poeltl dominated their opening stint in the paint shooting at 66% alone in the first quarter. 

A lack of strength on the defensive end in the second quarter allowed Brooklyn to close in on San Antonio. Some careless fouls allowed nets players to get to the free throw line putting a spark in their game. The lead began to teeter back and forth between both squads. San Antonio would go on short scoring runs that would propel them into the lead, yet the east coast team would tread on their heels. 

No matter how close the nets got to a win, shots were falling more efficiently on the Spurs’ end. The top scorer of the night was Keldon Johnson with a new career high of 36 points. He was also a thief in the night with four steals and 11 rebounds. Right behind Johnson was Jeremy Sochan with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

Survival Of The Fittest

Although Sochan wasn’t the top scorer his “feistiness” was the highlight of the night. Although his words or sight interactions with other players can land him in some scuffles, it’s okay because coach Popovich appreciates his zeal. Sochan plays with some nastiness which, according to coach Pop, is needed in a league like the NBA. 

Jeremy has been surviving as a rookie since the day he played his first professional game. It seems no one is looking to change his survival tactics. The lack of care he has for the opinion of others could be the very thing allowing him to grow so quickly.

Next Up At Home

Friday night that feistiness will come in handy when San Antonio gears up to face the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT&T Center. 

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