On Wednesday night, it was “Dame time” in the Alamo City as the Portland Trail Blazers (16-12) suited up to face the San Antonio Spurs (9-20). San Antonio saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, falling to Portland in a 128-112 loss at home.
A Snap Back to Reality
The Spurs’ spirits were up from gaining the wins over the last week, but the energy was low notably throughout the first half of the game. There wasn’t a reason for the lack of vitality, they simply are just human. When you are a human who plays in the National Basketball Association, however, you can’t hold back against scoring monsters like Damian Lillard for the entire first half.
San Antonio’s top scorer was Keldon Johnson with 25 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. On the opposing end, Portland’s Lillard contributed 37 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.
The Spurs were able to pick up the pace in the second half. In the third quarter, they outscored Portland by eight points though their efforts were too little too late. San Antonio’s field goal percentage decreased from 50 percent in the third to 42 percent in the fourth, making just nine of their 23 attempts.
Focus On What You Can Control
According to Spurs forward Doug McDermott, the team can’t cloud their mind with things they cannot control. “We can’t control if the shot is going to go in every time,” he told the media after the game.
“It’s more so our effort, our communication, and just flat-out grunt, as [head coach Gregg Popovich] says. We can control those things. We can’t control the ball going in every time. So, if we can just continue to focus on those things, we’re going to get off to better starts.”
So how do the veterans and fresh faces stay on the same page? “Our motto is 48,” Keldon Johnson said of the mindset of the team going into their next few games. “We’ve got to tackle all 48 minutes regardless of if the game is going good or bad.”
Up Next for the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio will travel to Mexico to face the Miami Heat Saturday at 4 p.m. CT. Tune in to see how they tackle their next 48 minutes. The last time the Spurs had a few days to regroup that started a winning streak. This Saturday could be the start of another.