After a 101-97 loss against the Utah Jazz Wednesday evening, their third in a row, the Spurs end their 2016-2017 regular season with a 61-21 record.
At second place in the Western Conference, the Spurs will take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the post season, a team they tied 2-2 in their regular season series.
Since they clinched the second seed, the Spurs’ starters haven’t seen too much playing time over the past few games, giving much needed in-game experience to reserve players. In their last win, a 102-91 win against the Dallas Mavericks, the only regular starter to play was Dewayne Dedmon, who played only 18 minutes and scored 10 points.
A definite top performer over the last week, and over the entire season, Leonard lived up to his name in his ever so consistent, non-flashy style. Leonard, who sat out the win against the Mavs, was the top scorer in two out of the three games he did play. In the 98-87 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Leonard scored 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting in 35 minutes.
In his second top-scorer performance, Leonard shot 72% to score 18 points in 20 minutes. However, the Spurs lost that game against the Portland Trail Blazers, 99-98, with an excruciating last minute layup by Noah Vonleh.
Reserves Worth Mentioning
Rookie shooting guard out of Michigan State, Forbes, played a career high 29 minutes against the Mavericks. Forbes shot 10-of-19 from the field, earning his career high 27 points, becoming the first player to score more than 20 points in a half since Tim Duncan did it in 1998.
Gasol scored 13 points in the 101-97 loss to the Jazz, pushing him past the 20,000 point mark and bringing his total to 20,001.
“It’s hard to imagine to be able to get to those numbers,” said Gasol of his accomplishment. “It just proves the type of player I am and that I have been and how hard I have had to work to get to those type of milestones” (ESPN).
The Spurs now look to their post-season opponent, the Grizzlies, a much healthier version of the team they swept in round one of last year’s playoffs. The Spurs begin their post-season this Saturday, April 15th at 7pm CST.