SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs knew if they wanted to continue their historic streak of making the postseason, they would need two things: consistent play from role players and lockdown defense.
San Antonio got both on Wednesday night as they held off a last-second rally from the Washington Wizards (40-31) and earn the 98-90 win at the AT&T Center.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Silver and Black and the fifth game of a six-game homestand. The win also allowed the Spurs to keep pace with the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder, both of whom they trail in the Western Conference standings.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray, and Kyle Anderson.
- The win kept San Antonio in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. As of this writing, the Spurs are in sixth place and just a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth place.
- San Antonio’s defense continues to be up to par, the victory was the fourth time in the last five games that the Spurs held their opponent under 100 points.
- Manu Ginobili had a quiet night, scoring seven points on 42 percent shooting.
- Danny Green had a poor night on the offensive end. He had just seven points as he shot 3-for-10 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3-point range.
- Not once, but twice, San Antonio let an 18-point lead slip down to just 11 points. Both times saw Pop put the bench in only to have the lead slip slightly. At one point, he had to insert LaMarcus Aldridge back into the game late in the fourth quarter.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: Once again, LaMarcus Aldridge took on the task of leading the Silver and Black to another win. He finished with 27 points on 12-for-23 shooting from the field to go along with nine rebounds.
Aldridge was solid from the start as he got aggressive with Marcin Gortat. He scored from the elbow, near the basket, and from his sweet spot fadeaway jumper. There is not a doubt that LaMarcus is a leader of this team as a few times he was spotted by the media instructing players and getting them into their spots on the floor.
Dejounte Murray: Another game and another chance for second-year point guard Dejounte Murray to grow.
Murray finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds. The key stat that stood out was a steal and zero turnovers. Why does the no turnovers stand out? Because of the fact it shows Murray has gotten better with his decision making. The days of him being quick and wanting to make the big plays are gone. Now, he has more control and his teammates have gotten very comfortable with him as their floor general.
Kyle Anderson: The former UCLA Bruin continues to have the best season of his career and he showed just how well his game has improved on Wednesday.
Anderson finished with 16 points on 87 percent shooting from the floor to go along with four rebounds and four assists. He remained aggressive, found open guys for shots, and even hit the rare 3-pointer. There is no doubt that Anderson’s improvement is the silver lining in a Kawhi-less Spurs squad.
The Spurs are now 42-30 on the season and will return to the court on Friday for a huge matchup with the Utah Jazz (40-31) at the AT&T Center with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CST.