San Antonio Spurs News: Murray silences critics against Clippers

Jan 5, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) celebrates with guard Dejounte Murray (5) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) his three point basket scored against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) celebrates with guard Dejounte Murray (5) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) his three point basket scored against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Dejounte Murray led the San Antonio Spurs to a solid win over the Clippers

After the San Antonio Spurs got boat raced by the Utah Jazz on their homecourt, some fans turned on the team’s young point guard. Dejounte Murray didn’t play well, there’s no getting around that, but a subset of fan’s urge to pin the blame on him struck a nerve.

Good players have bad games, that’s just life in the NBA. Great players find ways to respond and prevent them from turning into bad stretches. Responding with an impressive game against the LA Clippers was the ask for DJ and he delivered.

On the road, against one of the top team’s in the conference, and missing Derrick White, hope in a Spurs win wasn’t at an all-time high. But standout performances from Murray, Patty Mills, and Devin Vassell helped the Spurs snap their four-game losing streak.

Murray shows off his all-around game against LA Clippers

Critics of Murray’s will tell you that he’s not as advanced of a passer as White, or that he can’t take on a lead scoring role for a high-level team. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re not. But what they ignore is that pound for pound, there are few guards in the league who match his all-around versatility.

Dejounte showed that off on Tuesday night. With DeMar DeRozan struggling, Murray stepped up early for the Spurs. He delivered 15 of his 21 points in the first half and would end up finishing the game with an additional 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and just 2 turnovers. He could have had another assist too if Rudy Gay hadn’t flubbed a beautifully placed dime by Murray late in the game.

Last night’s performance was a peak Murray game and the kind of well-rounded performance he’s capable of delivering on a night to night basis.

Sure, there will be times when he’s not scoring as much as some would like or struggles to facilitate the ball, but on those nights he’s still one of the best reboundings and defending guards in the league. That makes those outings a little more palatable, so long as they’re not occurring too often.

This game helps solidify Murray’s position near the top of the Spurs roster in most statistical categories. He’s currently the only one on the team who’s in the top-three in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Not bad for a player who’s supposedly on the team just to add “character.”

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With White set to miss significant time, Murray is going to be under the spotlight for the San Antonio Spurs. Here’s to hoping he can stay consistent and silence his critics once and for all.

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