New York Drops the Ball in San Antonio: Romeo Langford and the Spurs Defeat the Knicks 122-115

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Romeo Langford had a career night as he helped lead the San Antonio Spurs over the New York Knicks on Thursday.
December 29, 2022, San Antonio, TX: during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Thursday, December 29, 2022. (Photo by Reginald Thomas II/San Antonio Spurs)

The San Antonio Spurs (12-23) caused the New York Knicks (18-18) to drop the ball before the new year in a fast-paced battle to the finish line. San Antonio was without starter Devin Vassell due to knee soreness as he was a late scratch. Romeo Langford stepped into the open starting position ready to work after finding out about his place in the lineup about 32 minutes prior to tip off. Despite some missing pieces, San Antonio defeated the Knicks 122-115.

San Antonio Remains Solid

The Spurs were able to maintain aggression throughout the game and push the pace without an increased amount of turnovers. In the first quarter they only had two turnovers while outscoring the Knicks by 11 points. San Antonio outscored New York in almost every quarter besides the fourth. Although they shot 64 percent from the field compared to the Knicks’ 44 percent in the final frame. The Spurs were outscored by six and had more turnovers (five) down the stretch. 

It’s safe to say the final 12 minutes of the game is still a work in progress for this unit. Coach Gregg Popovich says this is the mentality surrounding the fourth for the team.

“…It’s a 48-minute game,” he told the media after the game, “and you can’t just play 36, no matter what’s happening. If you’re not making shots it puts more pressure on your defense to do well. So, it’s all a discipline.” 

Romeo Langford Seizes the Moment 

Langford had a career-high night of 23 points, accompanied by three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He shot 68.8 percent from the field and made his only attempted shot beyond the arch. Although some may be shocked that the guard has hit a career-high twice in the same month, his teammate Keldon Johnson claims this is nothing new to the three-year veteran.  

“I want all of you to go look at Romeo’s highlights from high school and college,” Johnson said after the game. “I’ve been saying this since last year. I want you all to look at his highlights and you’ll see more than 20-point nights. It’s crazy… I’m proud of him.”

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work 

The team’s starting forward, Johnson, ended the night with 30 points, three rebounds, and two blocks. Despite having a rough time knocking down three’s in the first half, he gained his footing in the second after plunging a 25 and 26-footer back-to-back. 

Johnson attributes his success to his team mates telling the media post game, “My teammates and coaches put me in great spots. They get me in spots that I’m comfortable with and that I can make plays out of and that’s what I did.”

It’s all about teamwork for this group. Fans have seen the outcome when vital pieces are missing. Having players out this early in the season, however, has allowed the bench to develop into solid role players.

Up Next for the Spurs

A Texas showdown is set to premiere Saturday night, December 31st, back home at the AT&T Center against the Dallas Mavericks. Mavericks Luka Doncic made history earlier this week against the Knicks. He scored 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists, something that had never been don before. Doncic is once again in the MVP conversation and is the second-best scorer in the league this season, currently averaging 33 points per game. Saturday will be a best of the Spurs’ teamwork to outshine what some consider to be a one-man show.

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