San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz: Consistency is key in second consecutive victory
After weathering multiple storms against the formidable Utah Jazz, the San Antonio Spurs took care of business 113-104 to extend their win streak to two.
Friday night had a “big fight feel” when the San Antonio Spurs faced a tough Utah Jazz squad. With a huge contribution from their franchise point guard in his first back-to-back 20-point games, Dejounte Murray turned heads with a 23-point performance.
What doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is the remarkable energy and effort that sparked the Spurs victory. Along with his 62.5 percent shooting, Murray finished with four steals and seven rebounds. It’s safe to say that Murray is beginning to come into his own after being told to “play freely”.
A difference that sealed a victory for the Spurs was the consistency they played with for all four quarters. The Spurs were able to hold off the Jazz despite a few runs that in previous games, would’ve spelled out a collapse.
Hammon on Spurs showing thwarting Utah's comeback bids in 4Q: "We have had spells in the past where we couldn’t stop the bleeding, so this is a good sign for us. That’s growth in some areas.”
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) February 22, 2020
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The consistency on defense was evident across the board, with the team totaling seven steals, 12 blocks, and holding Utah to 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. One of the keys to victory, as previously stated, was to limit Donovan Mitchell‘s efficiency on the offensive end. The Spurs were able to do that by holding Mitchell to 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
Probably the biggest takeaway from this game came with 6:00 left in the 4th quarter. After committing a flagrant one foul on Jordan Clarkson, Bryn Forbes was taken out of the game and replaced with Derrick White. What surprised Spurs fans was that White was going to play out the rest of the game with fellow anchor, Dejounte Murray.
Months of pleading by Spurs’ Twitter came to fruition when we saw Murray and White close the game together to bring the San Antonio Spurs one game closer to that coveted 8th seed in the West. This type of consistency is what will be needed if the Spurs look to extend their historic playoff streak to 23 straight seasons.
Of course, the Spurs have been anything but consistent this 2019-20 season. With the combination of vets (DeRozan, Aldridge, Gay, Mills), young guns (White, Murray, Walker IV, Poeltl), and a continued obsession for the 8th seed out West, we hope that the Spurs get the chance to ruin another team’s first round of the playoffs.