Lonnie Walker’s breakout performance during a double-overtime win over the Houston Rockets was one of the highlights of the San Antonio Spurs season
As we approach one month without basketball it’s looking more and more like the NBA season will be canceled. If that is the case, we will soon be able to close the book on a disappointing San Antonio Spurs season.
Even in a down year, there were some highlights. Lonnie Walker‘s breakout performance against the Houston Rockets stands out as the most exciting moment of the season. Walker’s late-game heroics helped the Spurs come back and pull out a double-overtime win over their in-state rivals.
Lonnie played in the first half but wasn’t able to score. He was getting to the rim and got solid looks but just wasn’t able to get anything to go. When he finally did score late in the third quarter it was thanks to a well-timed steal by Dejounte Murray that led to an easy look in transition.
After a slow start to the game, Walker finally took over in the fourth quarter. It started with clean looks at the rime thanks to assists from Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan. Stealing the ball from Russell Westbrook would lead to another fast-break dunk.
As the game progressed into the final minutes, Walker got it going from behind the arc. His two key three’s in the final minute of play sent the AT&T Center into a frenzy. When he did pull up from well beyond the line to shoot a game-tying three the whole crowed paused, then erupted as it found the bottom of the net.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2019/12/03/0021900303/685/0cd988cb-96ca-cd58-7573-9bd30c525c12_1280x720.mp4
More than just a game-tying three, that shot reinforced what Spurs fans and players had been saying about Walker since the beginning of the season. He’s a special talent who just needs the playing time to show what he can do.
Coming up clutch on the biggest stage against a rival was the perfect way to prove that. Walker would end up going off for 19 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Houston Rockets by himself.
He would chip in another four points in overtime as the Spurs came back to win 135-133. Walker set new career highs in minutes played and points scored and was a perfect Spur in his postgame comments, preferring to talk about team ball and how his teammates helped out.
But the truth is that the result of that game, and much of the Spurs’ future, hinges on how Walker performs. He showed immense promise in his second year with the team but will have to continue to improve to become the top scoring option the Spurs need him to be.
Lonnie Walker’s breakout game was the most exciting moment of the Spurs season and was just a glimpse of what he can bring to the team over the next few years.