Spurs Lose 132-119 Against Sacramento After Poor Third Quarter Performance

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San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones moving down the court
January 15, 2023, San Antonio, TX: during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Sunday, January 15, 2023. (Photo by Reginald Thomas II/San Antonio Spurs) via: spurs.com/login

The San Antonio Spurs were back home at the AT&T Center Sunday night after a historic night at the Alamodome Friday night. This time they faced the Sacramento Kings in what some would have hoped to be a redemption game. Instead, Sacramento continues its winning streak and San Antonio falls to the Kings in a 119-132 loss.

It’s The Little Things

The Spurs had a solid first half shooting 63% from the field as a whole. They inched in and out of the leading score but the game was comparative nonetheless. The third quarter was where they hit a snag. 

The shooting was at its lowest at 39.1% and Sacramento took advantage of extra possessions gathered when rebounding defensively. Both teams were sent to the free throw line excessively, however, in the third Sacramento shot better at 75% while San Antonio only shot at 66%. 

These stats may not seem major, but the little things allowed the Kings to get away from the Spurs and acquire a double-digit lead. As Coach Popovich said, “The margin of error is really small”. This squad can’t afford a quarter of low-caliber shooting, nor can they afford mistakes that send their opponents to the foul line four times. 

Building Good Habits For the Spurs

Despite the dent in the progress of the game, there were some shining moments like Tre Jones recovering Keldon Johnson’s layup with a two-handed dunk. Jakob Poeltl demonstrated two blocks along with seven rebounds and 23 points. Josh Richardson got into a groove from beyond the arc and shot 66% from the three. He also had 21 points and four assists. 

A lot of you, I’m sure,  have asked the question of what needs to be done in order for the Spurs to avoid falling short as they did in the third quarter. Well to the team it is a matter of habits. 

“We don’t have enough people with good habits, defensively. We’re trying to get those, and it’s mandatory. There are no bad defensive teams playing at the end of the year. That’s just the way it is.” Coach Pop told the media post-game.

So the answer is patience. Any good development takes time and they do not look the way they did at the beginning of the year. 

Another Chance At Redemption

Tuesday San Antonio will take on another strong defensive team in the Brooklyn Nets. This time the North is heading down South to the AT&T Center. This could be another learning experience for San Antonio, however, you know how they love to surprise us.

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