48 hours in California saw the San Antonio Spurs go from confident to desperate. After losing to the LA Clippers on Tuesday, the Silver and Black let another one slip away just 24 hours later.
The latest was a 122-112 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers (34-44) at the Staples Center on Wednesday night. The two defeats mean San Antonio will now have to win two of their final three games to make the playoffs or rely on help to see Denver lose two games.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray, and Rudy Gay.
- For the second straight night, the Spurs got a solid performance out of Patty Mills. He finished with 15 points and shot 50 percent from three-point range.
- Dejounte Murray continues to show his growth and maturity in just year two in the NBA.
- Danny Green and Tony Parker both struggled mightily on the offensive end. The pair combined for just three points on 0-for-10 shooting from the floor. Parker went scoreless and Green’s only points came from the free throw line. Not good if you’re in the hunt to clinch a postseason berth.
- San Antonio’s defense struggled once again on Wednesday, giving up 122 points to the injury-depleted Lakers squad. Through their two games in LA, the Spurs gave up an average of 117.5 points per game.
- The Spurs’ struggling defense had no answer for Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, who scored a game-high 30 points. He scored six of his 30 in overtime and eight in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter.
- Two losses in LA means the Spurs will likely need to win two of its final three games to even clinch a playoff berth. Two of the three are getting third-seeded Portland and eighth-seeded New Orleans.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: Just as he has done all season, LaMarcus Aldridge did his best to carry his team. His effort nearly had the Spurs coming home victorious.
Aldridge finished with 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. He stayed aggressive going up against Lakers big men Julius Randle and Brook Lopez. Despite constant double teams from Los Angeles, Aldridge found ways to find the open man and fight through the tough defense to score.
Dejounte Murray: The Spurs’ second-year point guard once again showed his growth and why Coach Pop is so high on Murray taking over the reigns for Tony Parker midseason.
Murray finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists on the night. He slashed his way to the paint, skied high for boards, and found his teammates for buckets. Despite him playing well, he also had a few mistakes on the night. One of those was four turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter where San Antonio was outscored 27-21.
However, it is very clear that the Spurs are in very good hands with Murray.
Rudy Gay: The Spurs are getting solid production out of Rudy Gay at the right time and it just might be the thing that gets them into the playoffs.
Gay finished with 14 points on 50 percent shooting and five rebounds. Together he and Aldridge combined for 42 of San Antonio’s 112 points. San Antonio has won nine straight at the AT&T Center and will need this due to come through two more times to make the playoffs.
It is very doable.
The Spurs are now 45-34 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday night when they welcome Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers (48-30) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m. CST.