Rapid Reaction: San Antonio Spurs win tale of two halves against Portland

Derrick White of the San Antonio Spurs. (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
Derrick White of the San Antonio Spurs. (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs moved to 3-0 on the season with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

The San Antonio Spurs showcased their very best and very worst in a back and forth, tale of two halves victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. After an ugly start, the Spurs were able to pull things together in the second half and escape with a 113-110 victory over Portland.

San Antonio started the game off looking lost and incredibly sloppy. Early turnovers on the part of the Spurs helped Portland to get out to a commanding 33-19 after one-quarter of play. Derrick White was seemingly the only player who could get anything to fall early on.

Things started to come together in the second quarter as the Spurs slowly crawled their way back to within striking distance. Dejounte Murray‘s play really stood out as San Antonio tried to shorten the lead. He kept Damian Lillard from getting going while also helping the Spurs go into the second half only down six.

San Antonio came out of the locker room looking like a team that had just gotten a tongue lashing from Gregg Popovich. Everything about their offense was crisper and a few quick buckets gave San Antonio their first lead of the game with just under nine minutes remaining in the third.

The Spurs would give up the lead once more before moving back into the driver’s seat with seven minutes left in the quarter. From then on out it was all San Antonio. Throughout the third quarter, you could tell that Portland was coming off of a hard-fought game yesterday while the Spurs had the day off. The Trail Blazers looked exhausted while the Spurs took advantage of their heavy legs to continue to extend their lead.

Even after working so hard to put themselves in a position to come away with the win, it briefly looked like the Spurs were going to give it up late. Lillard showed why he’s recognized as one of the best players in the league, going on his own 16-point tear in the fourth quarter to try to bring the Blazers back.

In the end, San Antonio was able to hold off Lillard and company in order to move to 3-0 on the season. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it counts just the same. San Antonio will now get Tuesday and Wednesday off as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the LA Clippers on Thursday.

The highlight of the night

Look at those Spurs run! #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/wyxO7zJeU5

— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) October 29, 2019

The highlight of the night came nearly halfway through the third quarter on a great two way play by Dejounte Murray. The play was the Spurs at their very best. A heads up defensive play by Dejounte triggered an easy dunk for DeMar DeRozan at the other end. Seeing these two running the break together will never get old.

Player of the game: Derrick White

After an impressive performance off the bench that kept the Spurs in the game early on and helped them eventually secure the win, Derrick White is your player of the game. His well-rounded game off the bench was critical in helping the Spurs pull themselves back into this game.

White was in attack mode early and often. His 21 point effort off the bench set a new season-high for White and was a remarkably efficient performance. He connected on eight of his eleven shots, making a point of going right into the Portland defense in order to get easy looks at the rim.

smoooooth, @Dwhite921 ? pic.twitter.com/1meElPP1mM

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 29, 2019

Perhaps more important than his scoring contributions was White’s attention to taking care of the basketball. Turnovers have been a problem for the Spurs in every game of the season and tonight was no different. San Antonio would turn the ball over 18 times in the outing against Portland but White would not be credited with any of them.

Related Story. San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray’s hot start is a sign of things to come

San Antonio will need White to continue to play at a high level. Their week doesn’t get any easier after they face the Clippers, with the Warriors and Lakers rounding out their brutal week-long trip around the Western Conference.