After being announced as an All-Star reserve for his 6th All-Star appearance, LaMarcus Aldridge rebounded from his worst performance of the season Tuesday night by shooting 12-18 from the field for a game high 30 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, on a night when LeBron James passed the 30,000 point mark. The Spurs pushed past LeBron and the Cavs led by LaMarcus, Dejounte Murray (19 pts) and Tony Parker (14 pts).
Without Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay, and Manu Ginobili Wednesday night, eight players scored in double figures as the Spurs outplayed the Memphis Grizzlies, 108-85 in San Antonio. Patty Mills led the way for the Spurs with 15 points, but Pau Gasol’s near triple double stole the show as the veteran scored 14 and came up with 15 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Spurs’ only loss of the week came in a brutal 97-78 defeat to the Eastern Conference’s 8th seed, the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. Aldridge once again led the way for the silver and black with 18 points on 7-12 shooting, but the San Antonio big man had little help from his supporting cast as the only other Spur in double figures was Gasol with 11 points of his own.
Spurs 113 – Kings 98
Ginobili made his return after missing 6 games with a thigh injury on Sunday night, while Bryn Forbes lit up the second half leading the Spurs to the 113 – 98 victory. Forbes had a team and season high 23 points as he shot 9-15 from the field and tied his career high for three pointers made with 5.
Week in Review
Week 16 showed much improvement from last week’s mistake riddled performances. San Antonio looked to improve in many ways this week compared to last. The first obvious change that was made was the move of Tony Parker to the bench. The veteran guard has easily adjusted into his new role providing the Spurs with a much needed spark off the bench while giving Dejounte Murray the opportunity to grow into his role as the Spurs’ starting point guard.
In addition to the changes made at the starting point position, Patty Mills also made productive contributions to San Antonio’s play this week. The backup guard led the way in scoring for the Spurs in their victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and has continued to give the Spurs help off the bench.
Not only has Mills been picking up some slack for the Spurs during Kawhi’s absence, but other young Spurs have risen to the occasion and provided their team with the support they need. Forbes’ team-high 23 points on Sunday night was a nice reminder of the talented young backup guards the Spurs are still developing. Similarly, Murray has averaged 12.4 points per game since his move into the starting point guard position. With both guards in only their second year, the future of the Spurs’ backcourt is in good hands. Regarding Forbes though, it’ll be interesting to see if the Spurs can retain him next season, since he’ll have the opportunity to be a restricted free agent.
Going into week 16, the Spurs will face the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and the Houston Rockets on Thursday before ending the week on Saturday against the Utah Jazz. All games will be in San Antonio.