San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs finish strong vs. Raptors, 101-97: Recap, highlights and more

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 23: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Toronto Raptors on October 23, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 23: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Toronto Raptors on October 23, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs faced the Toronto Raptors for their second home game of the season. What went down in this game?

After picking up two wins to open the 2017-18 season, the San Antonio Spurs returned home to face the Raptors. Toronto also came into this game at 2-0 after wins against the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers. Let’s take a look at how this game went down in the Alamo City.

29. 97. 81. . 101

This was a tightly-contested one for the most part. Toronto’s tenacious defense showed up early, forcing five quick turnovers. The Raptors built a small lead but, the Spurs got back to even thanks to a great reverse layup by Danny Green that resulted in an and-one.

Danny Green does this sometimes now I guess? It's pretty radpic.twitter.com/u0JELqDJyt

— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) October 24, 2017

Spurred by the early turnovers and good shooting from Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors led by two after one. Ibaka finished with 13 points and DeRozan finished with a game-high 28. Rudy Gay got the Spurs back on track in the second quarter with a three-pointer to tie it followed by a two-handed slam dunk.

.@RudyGay knocks down the ? to tie it up in San Antonio!

?: NBA TV pic.twitter.com/DKtqQ0ZhfP

— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 24, 2017

.@RudyGay slams it down! How about that athleticism. @spurs #GoSpursGohttps://t.co/KG4Nojlt9z pic.twitter.com/g7pU3ADsJp

— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) October 24, 2017

With Kawhi Leonard unavailable for the third game in a row, Ibaka and DeRozan had their way in the first half as both were in double-digits. The biggest detriment to the Spurs in the first half was turnovers as Toronto forced 12. However, lead by Gay and Green, who each had nine in the first half, San Antonio managed to tie the game going into halftime.

Things stayed tight in the third quarter. Dejounte Murray picked up the pace and had a double-double already in the period in points and rebounds to help the Spurs retake the lead. Joffrey Lauvergne also stepped up for the Spurs in the third quarter. His play around the basket was spectacular, including this two-handed slam.

JOFFREY HAMMER DROPpic.twitter.com/WF2YVlDvXn

— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) October 24, 2017

Both teams traded baskets towards the end of the quarter, but thanks to big shots by Lauvergne and Patty Mills, San Antonio would lead by one heading into the final period.

In the fourth quarter Toronto started with a 7-0 run, but Murray continued his big night helping San Antonio tie it back up. Lauvergne exited the game early in the fourth, forcing the Spurs to adjust their rotation. They went small ball with Brandon Paul, Kyle Anderson, Green, Murray and LaMarcus Aldridge. The lineup worked as the Spurs began to truly break away.

Aldridge sealed the deal in the end, making some clutch shots that clinched the victory and the Spurs third win to open the season.

Game notes

  • Murray played his best game of the season so far. He scored 16 points and came away with 15 rebounds. He became the second guard in team history to score 15 or more points and 15 or more rebounds in a game. Ginobili was the last to do it against Toronto in 2008. If Murray can keep playing at this level until Tony Parker returns, San Antonio will be in good shape at point guard.
  • Kyle Anderson started again in place of Leonard, but he only scored 10 points.  Rudy Gay had 11 coming off the bench and showed flashes of what he can bring. It begs the question: Do the Spurs consider putting Gay in the starting lineup in place of Anderson until Leonard returns? If Gay continues to play well, it could be a possibility.
  • Joffrey Lauvergne is quickly becoming a favorite off the bench. He scored 9 points and his presence around the hoop, made him look like a big man capable of backing up Aldridge. Now it remains to be seen how long he will be out with this ankle injury.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge had his third 20+ point game. When Leonard comes back, who knows what will happen with these two on the floor. It may only be three games, but Aldridge certainly looks worthy of that contract extension he received after the preseason.

Must Read: 25 greatest players in Spurs history

The Spurs will face the Miami Heat next on the road at the American Airlines Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

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