SAN ANTONIO – Despite a strong second half, the San Antonio Spurs could not complete their comeback from a 14 point deficit as they fell 120-111 to the Utah Jazz (24-28), at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
The loss was the third in the last five games for the Spurs, who completed their five-game home stand with a 2-3 record. As the silver and black went down 14 in the second half, they used a four guard lineup that may have given Coach Gregg Popovich something to work with as the season goes on.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, and Manu Ginobili.
- San Antonio showed fight in the second half as they outscored Utah 62-59, including a 29-26 third quarter that saw the Spurs bring down a double digit deficit twice.
- LaMarcus Aldridge continues to have one of the best seasons of his career.
- With the Spurs down double digits, Pop was searching for answers. He put out a four guard lineup of Mills, Bryn Forbes, Dejounte Murray, and Danny Green. That combination seems to have worked in sparking San Antonio’s offense.
- The Spurs struggled defensively as they failed to cover the three point line. The Jazz went 12-of-23 from three point range, including three straight triples after the Spurs cut the deficit down to six in the second half.
- Utah went to the free throw line a total of 36 times as they scored 30 of their 120 points from the charity stripe.
- Meanwhile, San Antonio went 13-of-18 from the free throw line, but it did not helped they traded runs with the Jazz in the final minutes.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: Like he has done all season, LaMarcus Aldridge carried the Spurs on Saturday night and it nearly got them the win. Despite Utah throwing Rudy Golbert and Derrick Favors at the Spurs forward, they were no match.
Aldridge finished with 31 points, five rebounds, and three assists. After a subpar game against Houston, the NBA All-Star forward was aggressive early and often as he drove the paint, hit from the outside, and went 6-for-8 from the free throw line.
Patty Mills: After having a poor month of January scoring the ball, Mills broke out and had one of his best shooting performances of the season.
Mills came off the bench to score 11 points on 66 percent shooting and went 3-for-5 from three point range. All three of Mills’ triples came in the second half as San Antonio brought the deficit all the way down to just a single point. However, it was Mills’ turnover that saw the Spurs go from down three to down five with less than two minutes to go.
Manu Ginobili: When in doubt, turn to 40-year-old Manu Ginobili to always make big buckets for the San Antonio Spurs.
Ginobili scored 13 points off the bench, including six in the second half. With San Antonio struggling from the outside, he drove the paint for floaters, lay ins, and got the three point play to again bring the deficit down to four with six minutes to go in the ball game. Ah, Grandpa Juice.
The Spurs are now 34-21 on the season and will now hit the road for their month long Rodeo Road Trip. Their first stop comes in Arizona on Wednesday when they take on the Phoenix Suns (18-35) at 9:30 p.m. at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.