SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs returned home but were dealt a surprising 121-120 loss to the Atlanta Hawks (10-32) at the AT&T Center on Friday night.
The Spurs fell despite holding a 15-point second-half lead and a monster performance from LaMarcus Aldridge. San Antonio has now lost two straight after losing to Miami on Wednesday.
“We did nothing in the first half but walk around,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “People should have left and asked for their money back after the first half. The second half, they competed, and they played to win, but we’ve just got to be more solid. Too many mistakes down the stretch and that’s what always seems to happen when we lose a basketball game.”
Atlanta was led by Trae Young’s 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting while going 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. Cam Reddish added 22 points for the Hawks, who earned their first win in San Antonio since 1997.
Three Standout Players
The Spurs’ big man has been playing well as of late and Friday night saw him step things up to another level.
Aldridge finished with 30 points, shooting 55 percent, and grabbing five rebounds. He banged down low, hit his signature shot from midrange, and converted all seven of his free throws. If this game can provide a stepping stone for Aldridge to go on a historic run like DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs have a solid chance to work their way into the top eight of the West.
DeMar DeRozan has been on a tear as of late and that continued on Friday night as he nearly gave the Spurs the win despite the Hawks’ comeback.
DeRozan scored 25 points on 50 percent shooting, pulled down nine rebounds, and dished out nine assists. His only negative was that he had four turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter when Atlanta was making their comeback.
“That’s on us, strictly on us,” DeRozan said. “We can’t be mad at nobody else but ourselves. We gave one away tonight.”
The Spurs’ starting point guard has looked more like who fans thought they’d see as of late. His confidence seems to be at an all-time high and that was evident on Friday.
Murray posted a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. When he wasn’t scoring or rebounding, he found his teammates for buckets, dishing out five assists. He was active defensively, getting three steals on the night. That’s including his steal and score to start the game.
If Murray and Aldridge can stay consistent along with DeRozan the second half of San Antonio’s season may be something to keep a close eye on.
The Spurs are now 17-23 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Miami Heat (29-12) to the AT&T Center at 2 p.m.