The San Antonio Spurs returned to action on Friday night knowing the tall task at hand. Needing to go 21-7 in their final 28 games to make the playoffs won’t be easy. However, performing as they did in Salt Lake City on a consistent basis will make things easier.
Dejounte Murray led a total team effort as the Spurs earned a 113-104 win over the Utah Jazz (36-19) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in the penultimate game of their Rodeo Road Trip.
Utah was led by Rudy Golbert’s 18 points and 14 rebounds. Emmanuel Mudiay had 18 and Jordan Clarkson added 15 off the bench for Utah, who had their winning streak snapped.
Three Standout Players
The Spurs’ point guard gave the Jazz fits all night long as he helped the Silver and Black kick off the post-All-Star break schedule on the right foot.
Murray finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on Friday. His 23 points were just two below his season-high. He broke down the Utah defense and got to the rim with ease. He played with confidence, made smart decisions, and hit his mid-range jumper.
If he can start leading this team effort on a nightly basis, San Antonio will be back in the conversation for that eighth and final playoff spot.
Many fans and media alike have been wanting to see Derrick White and Dejounte Murray on the floor together. Recently, Pop has been experimenting with that lineup and it has paid off. White’s play has improved and he showing why he earned his spot on the FIBA roster last summer.
White scored 14 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench. He shot 50 percent and the dagger three-pointer to seal the win for San Antonio. Regardless of the Spurs make the playoffs or not, their future is bright with Murray and White at the helm.
DeMar DeRozan missed time recently with back spasms but he returned on Friday night. He looked like his old self and did not need to carry the scoring load with such a balanced attack from the team.
DeRozan finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. He and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 33 points in the win with DeRozan shooting 47 percent from the field.
The Spurs are now 24-31 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night when they close out their Rodeo Road Trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 6 p.m. from Chesapeake Energy Arena.