It wasn’t easy but the San Antonio Spurs were able to hold off a second-half comeback in order to hold on to a 127-120 win over the Utah Jazz.
After a stretch of frustrating losses, there’s finally some San Antonio Spurs news we can all be happy about. The Spurs came out strong with a hot-shooting first half and followed it up by holding off a second-half Utah Jazz comeback attempt in order to hold on to a 127-120 victory.
With LaMarcus Aldridge sitting out again, Jakob Poelt got the start in tonight’s game. We also saw plenty of Rudy Gay, with Trey Lyles and Chimezie Metu providing additional support. The result was a Spurs offense that frequently ran with just one traditional big man and sometimes in five out sets.
The Spurs smaller lineups created quite a few opportunities for DeMar DeRozan to snake through pick and rolls and attack the rim or stop and pop easy floaters over the outstretched arms of the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. Attacking an intimidating rim protector like Gobert is a bold venture but DeRozan wasn’t backing down tonight.
He continued to build his All-Star candidacy with a season-high 38 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the floor while also knocking down 16 of his 19 free throw attempts. He also chipped in his usual five rebounds and five assists for good measure. DeRozan has been attacking the rim all season but he’s really taken it to the next level recently. He’s racked up an incredible 53 free throw attempts over the past four games.
The Spurs guards were in their bags tonight as well. San Antonio got strong performances from Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, and Derrick White. Murray chipped in 17 points on an impressive variety of mid-range shots. His shooting has been noticeably better over the past month, all that work he put in over the summer is really paying off.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 30, 2020
Murray isn’t the only Spurs guard who has taken steps forward in their shooting ability. Derrick Whtie has been the Spurs fourth-most accurate three-point shooter this season and was knocking down big shots in big moments tonight. The improvement that both he and Murray have shown in their ability to stretch the floor makes playing them together a more realistic option, one the Spurs coaches should explore more in the second half of the season.
It was an all-around solid win for a team that was sliding further and further down the Western Conference standings. They’re three games back of the eighth seed now and the daunting Rodeo Road Trip is rapidly approaching. That brutal stretch of games could very well make or break the Spurs postseason aspirations.
More good San Antonio Spurs news, they get a few days off to rest and prepare for a Saturday showdown with the Charlotte Hornets. That’ll be the last game they play at home before taking off on the road for much of the month of February.