San Antonio Spurs Send the Atlanta Hawks Flying Home

March 19, 2023, San Antonio, TX: San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson celebrates a made San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell three pointer during the third quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Sunday, March 19, 2023. (Photo by Reginald Thomas II/San Antonio Spurs)

The San Antonio Spurs sent the Atlanta Hawks flying home after defeating them 126-118. This battle was anticipated mainly because it was the first time Dejounte Murray returned to the AT&T Center since being traded. Some may have assumed the idea of keeping the win at home was far-fetched against a team with two all-star caliber starters in their lineup. Yet, even without defender Jeremy Sochan, bucket-getter Devonte Graham, and others, the Spurs take down another more advanced squad.

The San Antonio Spurs Get Redemption 

The Spurs were steadily coming out of the blocks having a response to almost every shot made by the Hawks. In the second quarter, San Antonio worked their way into a 24-point deficit. They were outscored by the Hawks by 16 points and were shooting at 37% compared to the Hawk’s 64%. 

The conversation during halftime must have been stern. The guys came out ready to turn around the narrative and dominate. They spent the third quarter recovering the score bringing the lead down to 103-100. In the fourth quarter, Blake Wesley flashes a driving layup to secure a 115-114 lead for the home team. They were able to maintain that lead for the remainder of the game.

Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson tied as leading scorers. Vassell had 29 points, two rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block. Johnson finished with the same 29 points plus 12 rebounds, five assists, and 1 steal. 

Character and Chemistry Building Experiences

When I asked the duo about their connection on the court that allows them to flow together so well, Vassell said this. “I think we both feed off of each other. You know I’m kind of upset because you know I got hurt so I wasn’t able to kind of gel for those two months, but I’m trying to take advantage of these last 12-15 games and just keep feeding off of each other.”

Johnson also expressed what this win means for the team after falling in overtime twice previously. “Definitely big (The Win). It’s been a time where we keep fighting, and fighting, and fighting, and obviously last game we got up big and let go of a lead. So, it kind of feels good to get down big, come back, and fight to get a win” 

The future seems bright for the Spurs’ young core. Whoever is thrown into the mix after the draft must be willing to adapt to the culture that is being established in the locker room and on the court. The adversity faced by the team from losses, and injury, to rebuilding with new teammates is one that builds character. 



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