San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs defeat Knicks, 119-107: Recap, highlights and more

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks the ball during the game against the New York Knicks on March 25, 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 - MARCH 25: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks the ball during the game against the New York Knicks on March 25, 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 battled the New York Knicks for the first time in 2017-18.

On Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs entered its second-to-last game of 2017 and the final home matchup. This was against the New York Knicks. What went down in this matchup?

The Spurs broke out red-hot, with an 8-0 run, led by Tony Parker. He manhandled Jarrett Jack at point guard, causing an early defensive substitution. This diminished the Frenchman’s impact for the rest of the game, but he still picked up 10 early points. Patty Mills added to this, as he went around screens and found open shots against Jack.

However, the Knicks had their own 7-0 run and made this a close game, staying that way for the remainder of the first half. That was via Enes Kanter‘s brief stint of production, Doug McDermott‘s quick 9 points and Kristaps Porzingis, who displayed his length throughout the second quarter. The Spurs attempted to work inside, but the measurables caught up to a player like Rudy Gay. Inside passes were deflected away, too, which provided Porzingis 4 first-half blocks.

The offense struggled in the second quarter. As Pounding the Rock noted, it stalled when Mills was playing pass-first.

Knicks cut it to 6, Spurs offense just seems to go stale with Patty as a true point. As @bouncepassos said, Spurs need Leonard back to allow Mills to drift back to more off ball stuff when he's in

— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) December 29, 2017

The Spurs broke through in the third quarter, with Danny Green at the helm. His multiple 3-pointers pushed the lead forward. He totaled 5, before hobbling off the court in the fourth quarter. the former Tar Heel recently dealt with a groin injury.

Speaking of ailments, there was an alarming moment for Rudy Gay. Due to right heel soreness, he left the game, immediately went to the locker room and never returned. This was a flare-up of a previous injury that limited Gay in early December.

Without Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, as always, made the most of his opportunity. He had 16 points and 8 rebounds, along with a slow and smooth move to the hoop. Wherever “Slo-Mo” ends up in 2017-18, he’ll get paid.

.@KyleAnderson5 doing work.

He's got 16 points and 8 boards with 4 minutes to play! pic.twitter.com/RJKfjSltcP

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 29, 2017

Bryn Forbes was another highlight for the Spurs. His 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting provided a bench spark while receiving the most minutes off the pine of anyone else.

As for the top names, Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge patroled the paint for most of the night. They combined for 42 points. 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Aldridge’s 25 points and Gasol’s 11 rebounds and 7 assists were all team-highs.

If at first you don't succeed … make another beautiful pass. pic.twitter.com/5AW66lUxki

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 29, 2017

Game Notes

  • Michael Beasley consistently exploited matchups vs. the Spurs. He even had Manu Ginobili on him in the first half. The former No. 2 overall pick had 23 points, and looks like a free-agent gem for the Knicks.
  • Parker’s hot start was fun, but once Frank Ntilikina entered the game, the party ended. The 35-year-old was shut down after the first quarter.
  • Dejounte Murray received his first minutes in the third quarter, but played well and kept his legs fresh. Not a bad sign for a future Parker “injury management” game.
  • Keep an eye on Green’s status for Saturday.
  • Regarding Leonard, look for him to return on Saturday. The pattern has been at least two days of rest for the former MVP candidate.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

The Spurs will return on Saturday, Dec. 30 vs. the Detroit Pistons.

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