The shorthanded San Antonio Spurs could not hold on to a double digit lead in the fourth quarter as they fell 101-99 to the Utah Jazz (29-28) at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on Monday night.
The game was the third of their six game “Rodeo Road Trip”, which saw the Silver and Black drop to 1-2. San Antonio played without three of their top players as LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gay all missed the game with injuries. Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray returned to action after missing Saturday’s game against Golden State.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: Pau Gasol, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Davis Bertans.
- Despite being shorthanded, the Spurs played a solid game in the second half. San Antonio outscored Utah 29-15 in the third quarter. However, the final 12 minutes saw the Silver and Black lose a 13-point lead.
- Joffrey Lauvergne showed with solid minutes, he can be a valuable asset to the Spurs.
- Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray return to action from minor injuries. In an injury plagued season for San Antonio, fresh bodies is a must.
- Patty Mills may have had one of his worst games in Silver and Black. Mills went scoreless as he shot 0-for-6 combined in 21 minutes.
- As a team, the difference was in three pointers. San Antonio shot just 6-for-25 (24 percent) from three, compared to 45 percent for the Jazz.
- The Spurs’ defense struggled late as they left shooters like Jae Crowder and rookie Donovan Mitchell open late in the game.
Three Standout Players:
Pau Gasol: The NBA center would led the Spurs in the paint with LaMarcus Aldridge out with a sore knee. The result was a solid night out for Gasol, who showed why Coach Pop still has faith in him.
Gasol finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the game, with some big buckets coming in the fourth quarter. The 37-year-old Gasol showed no fear going up against younger big men Derrick Favors or Rudy Gobert.
Davis Bertans: Once again, Davis Bertans proved just how valuable he is for the Spurs as he continues to relish in his starting role in place of Pau Gasol.
Despite Gasol being back in the lineup, Bertans still put in a nice evening. He finished with 12 points on 63 percent shooting and went 2-for-4 from three point range. Bertans continues to show his growth as a player and proves once again that he is ready at a minutes notice.
Joffrey Lauvergne: One player who has not had the chance to truly prove himself this season is Joffrey Lauvergne. Plagued by an ankle and finger injury most of the 2017-18 season, he has been used rarely in games.
Monday night saw Lauvergne put together a nice game. He finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in 14 minutes. The game shows just how valuable Lauvergne can be for Pop and the Spurs if he is given playing time.
The Spurs are now 35-23 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night when they travel to face the Denver Nuggets (30-26) at 9:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Center.