After losing on Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs have lost consecutive games for the first time this season after falling 100-108 on Tuesday evening.
Shooting woes got the best of the San Antonio Spurs in their first matchup of the season against the Atlanta Hawks. Only four of 11 players that logged minutes tonight shot 50% or better from the field including just two of the five starters.
Righting the ship, as usual with this team trailing, was marquee wing DeMar DeRozan, whose full line of 22 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and two blocks wasn’t quite enough to pull his team to victory. Utilizing his size advantage and crafty ball handling, DeRozan got his shots off with ease while managing to keep his teammates involved and stay active on the defensive end of the floor.
The guard duo of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White were abysmal for the Spurs, combining to shoot just 2-of-13 from the field. As a result, Gregg Popovich limited their minutes to just 19 apiece. For Murray in particular, foul trouble was a major issue all night, which fed into his poor showing and as well as the hot hand of Patty Mills.
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Mills led the second unit in scoring with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Coming off of a tremendous summer where he led the Australian national team through the FIBA World Cup, Mills is showing off improved skill as a shot creator and floor general. If he keeps this up, he’ll have to be in serious consideration for the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year award, something no Spur has won since Manu Ginobili in 2008.
San Antonio lost the rebounding battle 41-48 despite Trey Lyles’ impressive 12 boards in 20 minutes. Controlling the glass has been key to the Spurs’ success early this season, so losing this battle was detrimental to their ability to control the pace and limit second-chance points.
At the end of the day, it was Trae Young’s 29-point, 13-assist night that was the Spurs’ undoing. With Dejounte off the whole night and White struggling as well, there was no answer to the sophomore’s onslaught of three-pointers and dimes out of the pick-and-roll.
The Spurs have a day of rest before hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday evening. This should provide them with an opportunity to bounce back from this poor showing.