Spurs collapse in final moments in Philly

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The San Antonio Spurs played well enough to win but a last-minute collapse would see them fall 122-120 to the Philadelphia 76ers (32-17) at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.

San Antonio led 120-112 with just over two minutes to go but Philadelphia went on a 10-0 run to close the game and get the narrow two-point win.

“Down the stretch, we made too many errors,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Too many turnovers and missed shots, that was the ball game.”

Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills, and Marco Belinelli.

The Good:
  • The Spurs’ offense kept up with a young Philly squad at home, which is all you can ask for in this generation of the NBA.
  • DeMar DeRozan has broken out of his slump in a big, big way
  • Marco Belinelli continues to cook up some tasty shots in his time off the bench.
The Bad:
  • The Spurs got off to yet another slow start for the third straight game, going down eight in the first six minutes.
  • San Antonio’s defense has struggled the past few outings and did so again on Wednesday. The gave up 120 points to the 76ers and have given up 100-plus points in their last seven games. In that stretch, the Spurs are giving up an average of 116.2 points per game.
Three Standout Players:

DeMar DeRozan

The guard finally got back into his groove after some January blues. He returned to form that showed exactly why he is a four-time All-Star and nearly gave the Spurs the win if it was not for mistakes down the stretch.

DeRozan finished with 26 points on 63 percent shooting to go along with nine rebounds and three assists. He sliced his way into the paint, hit from the outside, and remained aggressive right from the opening tip.

Project Spurs illustration

Patty Mills

The Aussie guard helped off the bench to get the Spurs back in the game after their slow start and contributed well on the defensive end as well.

Mills finished with 17 points as he went 6-for-10 from the floor and shot 60 percent for the game. On the defensive side, he had a steal and got in the passing lanes to prevent the 76ers from moving the ball with ease.

“Being up eight with two minutes to go, that’s where veteran leadership has to come in,” Mills said. “We made mistakes and they made us pay.”

Marco Belinelli:

Belinelli has really proven himself these past few weeks and seems to have found his role on the team. He returned to Philly and showed the fans what got away in free agency.

The Italian guard/forward finished with 16 points off the bench and went 4-for-7 from three-point range. He provided a much-needed spark for the Spurs in the first quarter and judging by the way he has shot the ball recently, you expect those shots to keep falling.

UP NEXT: 

The Spurs are now 27-22 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday afternoon when they travel to take on the New Orleans Pelicans at 5 pm Central Time from the Smoothie King Center.

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