Sloppy play leads to frustrating overtime loss for San Antonio Spurs
By Ethan Farina
After being walloped by the Brooklyn Nets the San Antonio Spurs let a close one slip away on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
We knew this season was going to be tough for the San Antonio Spurs but who would’ve thought that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have swept the season series against the Silver and Black. The Spurs lost their second game in a row tonight, falling to the Cavs 132-129 in overtime.
One of the most frustrating things to see in a game is when the referees over insert themselves into a game. That was definitely the case tonight, fouls were being called on seemingly every play all game long. The two teams combined to shoot a whopping 81 free-throws.
Without LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl, the Spurs have had to get creative with their frontcourt rotations. Rudy Gay had to step up and play more than he has all season and Drew Eubanks saw consistent playing time as well. Even with the new wrinkles to the rotations the Cavaliers still dominated San Antonio down low.
Both Andre Drummond and Kevin Love feasted on easy rebounds. The two combined to bring down 35 total rebounds. As a team, Cleveland destroyed San Antonio on the boards, taking a 60 to 44 advantage in that statistic.
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With Poeltl out for the next few weeks, San Antonio desperately needs to get LaMarcus back if they have any hope of making the playoffs. With upcoming games against the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets, the Spurs will have their hands full with dominant big men over the next few games. The sooner they can get a healthy Aldridge back to stabilize their frontcourt the better.
One silver lining from the loss was the impressive all-around play of Dejounte Murray. He’s been one of the Spurs more consistent offensive options over the past few weeks and he showed up again tonight. His 17 point, 6 assist performance was encouraging but it was the work he did on the defensive end that really stood out.
DJ was all over the Cavs on defense. He racked up 6 steals, a new season-high, and played inspired defense on Collin Sexton and Matthew Dellavedova all night. He’s come a long way on the offensive end but Murray really does have all of the tools to be one of the league’s top defensive point guards.
Every loss pushes the Spurs further and further away from playoff contention. With a tough slate of games this week, San Antonio has a lot of work to do if they want to find themselves back in the post-season.