The San Antonio Spurs opened their post-Christmas slate by stuffing the Detroit Pistons and falling to the Utah Jazz at the AT&T Center on Sunday and Monday respectively.
The results would see San Antonio end up in 10th place in the Western Conference, the final play-in spot.
In case you missed it, here’s a mini recap of both games:
Spurs 144, Pistons 109
The Spurs stuffed the Pistons’ stockings on Sunday, easily getting the 144-109 victory. The victory was the third straight for San Antonio, who moved into 10th place in the Western Conference, which is also the last spot for a play-in game.
San Antonio took control in the second quarter, outscoring Detroit 40-24.
”They came out aggressively and kept at it for most of the 48 minutes. That was nice to see,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. ”A lot of guys got to participate, but, obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight. The Pistons are in tough shape right now with all the guys they are missing.”
Both teams were short handed with the Pistons missing number one pick Cade Cunningham, who was Covid-19 protocols, along with four other players. Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk missed the game with injuries.
Meanwhile, the Spurs were without Dejounte Murray, who also was placed in Covid-19 protocols.
Murray wasn’t needed on this night as Keldon Johnson scored 27 points to pace San Antonio. Jock Landale had 18 points off the bench while Jakob Poeltl added 14 and Doug McDermott scored 13.
Jazz 110, Spurs 104
The force was not with the Spurs as they fell 110-104 to the Jazz on Star Wars Night Monday evening. Three-pointers doomed the silver and black as they went just 1-for-11 from three-point range in the first half.
San Antonio attempted to make another comeback late as the Spurs rallied more than once to cut the Utah lead to single digits but mistakes and not getting stops would see their three-game winning streak come to an end.
“Overall I thought we did a good job. We shot poorly in the first half. One of those nights where we just didn’t shoot well. The second half they did everything they could to get back in it.”, Popovich said.
The Spurs were led by Derrick White’s 21 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor after a slow start. Doug McDermott went 3-of-6 from three-point range and added 17 points overall, while Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell each chipped in 13.
Both teams were missing players as Utah was without Donovan Mitchell and San Antonio played its second consecutive game without Murray.
“I’ve got to be better to start,” White said of his slow start after the game.
Without Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson carried the load for Utah with 23 points off the bench and Rudy Golbert added 16 points and 13 points for the Jazz.
The San Antonio Spurs are now 14-19 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday night to welcome the Miami Heat (21-13) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.