The San Antonio Spurs dropped a close game to the Utah Jazz on the road.
The San Antonio Spurs lost a hard-fought battle to the Utah Jazz on Monday night, 101-99. Tonight’s loss came after the news that the Spurs would be without their load-carrying All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, until after the All-Star break. Without Aldridge, San Antonio would be without three of their top scoring options in tonight’s loss. Kawhi Leonard was out once again as he continues to work his way back from injury, Rudy Gay sat out as well. With tonights win the Jazz continued to build upon their impressive win streak, they have now won ten games in a row.
San Antonio started off the game well. Dejounte Murray was able to set the tone early by using his length to block Donovan Mitchell‘s first shot of the evening. Throughout the evening Murray and Danny Green were able to pester the rookie phenom but not shut him down entirely. Mitchell would end the game with a very respectable 25 points, on 9-28 shooting, but 25 points still. Mitchell continues to solidify his position as the steal of the 2017 draft and a leader for Rookie of the Year. The Spurs would end the quarter down 22-25.
The second quarter was much of the same. Spurs ball movement was countered by solid Jazz defense and vice versa. Whenever it looked like one team was going to lock in and pull away, the other was able to answer. Joe Ingles, in particular, was a thorn in the side of the Spurs.
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The Australian sharpshooter has been one of the best shooters in the NBA over the past two seasons and tonight’s performance was no different. Ingles would do drop in three three-pointers in the first half and end the game shooting 4-6 from downtown. He’s shot 47% from three on the season so tonight’s game was right in line with what should have been expected.
San Antonio was able to leverage solid contributions from all of their starters in order to keep the game close throughout. All the starters were able to score in double digits but it was inefficiency from deep that would come back to bite the Spurs in the end. Kyle Anderson, Pau Gasol, and Murray all missed on their three-point attempts tonight. That’s not the norm for those three but it ended up being one of the deciding factors it tonight’s close game.
Murray to Manu to Pau!
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 13, 2018
In the fourth quarter, Mitchell took over. The rookie was hitting from all over the floor and had a few key defensive plays that were able to help the Jazz lock down the win.
San Antonio will look to bounce back from the loss tonight against Denver tomorrow. Without LaMarcus, Kawhi, and Rudy look for tomorrows game to be another tightly fought contest as Denver seeks to maintain their hold on the 7th seed in the West. The Spurs typically look to use the Rodeo Road Trip as an opportunity to bond as a team. Perhaps the adversity that they have faced thus far will offer an opportunity to do just that. Utah will take on Phoneix on Wednesday night.