San Antonio Spurs suffer first loss of the 2019-20 season to LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: San Antonio Spurs Forward DeMar DeRozan (10) and Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard (2) fight for a loose ball during a NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers on October 31, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: San Antonio Spurs Forward DeMar DeRozan (10) and Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard (2) fight for a loose ball during a NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers on October 31, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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After winning three-straight at home, the San Antonio Spurs failed to overcome Kawhi Leonard’s 38 points in a 97-103 loss.

Despite dueling back-and-forth throughout the evening, the San Antonio Spurs were unable to continue their winning streak against a familiar foe in the LA Clippers. Only two Spurs reached double-digit scoring in the contest – marquee guard DeMar DeRozan and firestarter Derrick White off the bench.

Back in his hometown of Los Angeles, DeRozan tends to show out for the crowd. During his time in Toronto, he didn’t have as many opportunities to visit home throughout the regular season, but that changed when the 30-year-old became a Spur. In 35 minutes of play, DeRozan made 13-of-21 field goals and 3-of-4 free throws for 29 points.

That wasn’t all for San Antonio’s leading scorer – he tied defensive phenom Dejounte Murray for the most boards amongst starters with seven. However, a pesky matchup with Kawhi Leonard (38 points, four steals) led to a seven-turnover outing for the Spurs’ leading scorer.

The Clippers are proving to be a stout defensive team, limiting San Antonio to 45% shooting from the field and 33.3% from the three-point line. Only White and Bryn Forbes shot better than 25% from deep with Marco Belinelli and Rudy Gay combining to shoot just 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

White had himself a game off the bench, scoring 20 points on 11 shots including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. He asserted himself on both ends, finishing with a full line of two blocks, two assists, one steal and five boards including two of the team’s eight on the offensive glass.

Although he’s been comparatively quiet in the early going, White has a lot to prove and will have a large enough role for Gregg Popovich’s group to showcase his expansive skill set.

smooooooth pic.twitter.com/Lbmchx63kZ

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 1, 2019

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It was a quiet night from power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, whose five points and five boards in 36 minutes led to a -10 plus/minus. He battled in the paint, blocking two shots and contesting many more, but overall it was a tough outing for the team’s veteran big. He should be able to pick up steam against a Golden State Warriors team reeling from the loss of their star in Stephen Curry.

The same can be said for Bryn Forbes, who posted duds across the stat sheet to fit with a season-low nine points. He managed to make two triples on four attempts and an and-one layup, but the perimeter defense posed by Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and Leonard kept him quiet in this contest.

Fans may have hoped to see DeMarre Carroll make his season debut tonight, but the team’s prized offseason addition still has yet to see the floor. One has to think he could have influenced this game with his perimeter defense and much-needed floor spacing, but the veteran must’ve gotten on Gregg Popovich’s bad side along the way.

Next. Implications of LaMarcus Aldridge's contract guarantee

The Spurs finish up the second leg of a back-to-back with their first visit to the Warriors’ new arena, the Chase Center, tomorrow evening. They’ll look to bounce back against an injury-ridded opponent.

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