SAN ANTONIO – If the San Antonio Spurs are starting to find their footing, they picked the perfect time to do so. And it is coming in the middle of a six-game homestand.
The Spurs used improved defense and rode the play of their ‘Mid-Three’ to earn a 110-97 victory over the Utah Jazz (13-14) at the AT&T Center on Sunday night.
“This is the beginning of what we can be,” Spurs forward Rudy Gay said. “We’re learning and we trust each other. If we do that we can be a good defensive team.”
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
- The Spurs won back-to-back games for the first time since November. San Antonio is now 2-0 on their current homestand and has won two of their last three games.
- Jakob Poeltl had another solid game off the bench, finishing with six rebounds. He had two big offensive boards for San Antonio in the fourth quarter when Utah was pushing to tie the game.
- Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills combined for 18 points off the bench, giving the team a spark from the second unit.
- San Antonio’s defense finally responded, holding Utah to 18 points in two different quarters.
- The Spurs had trouble containing Utah’s two guards in Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio, who both combined for 53 points in a losing effort
- San Antonio struggled on both ends of the court in the second half as the Jazz made two different runs to cut down the Spurs’ double-digit lead.
Three Standout Players:
The guard continued to do what he has done since the start of the season and came through once again as he helped the Spurs to their second straight win.
DeRozan finished with 26 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the floor. He weaved his way through Utah’s defense and found his teammates for open shots. He added eight assists and six rebounds in the win as well.
The forward shot 62 percent from the field and was one of the biggest keys in the win for San Antonio, elevating his play for the third consecutive night.
Gay finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds and came up big when Utah went on an 8-0 run in the second half. His four points helped build San Antonio’s lead back up to 14 and on the defensive end, he added a steal and a block.
“I was on the boards and it gave me energy,” Gay said. “You get the basketball enough and it puts you in a rhythm, you know what to do with it.”
After not playing in the fourth quarter against the LA Lakers on Friday, the forward was fresh and started the game hot from the floor. He would get into foul trouble late but his contributions were still key to the win.
Aldridge finished with 20 points and six rebounds but he had five fouls, which kept him out of the game down the stretch. But Gay and DeRozan stepped up in his absence as the Spurs collected the win.
The Spurs are now 13-14 on the season and will return to the court on Tuesday when they welcome the Phoenix Suns (4-22) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 pm Central Time.