3 Austin Spurs who impressed in G League opener

San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs affiliate Austin Spurs kicked off their 15-game G League bubble season with a 119-111 win over the Memphis Hustle on Wednesday. It was an impressive debut for the squad, as five Spurs ended the afternoon in double figures to help pull away in the fourth quarter.

Austin led by as many as 13 but allowed a 34-point third quarter to Memphis, who took a 90-82 lead going into the final frame. That’s when the two San Antonio projects decided enough was enough. Here are three guys who made their presence known in a game that came down to the final minutes.

San Antonio Spurs Luka Samanic (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Luka Samanic (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. Luka Samanic

It wasn’t the hottest of starts for Luka Samanic in the G League opener, as his 7-of-20 shooting can attest. Still, how you close is more important than how you start, and Luka did everything right to lead Austin to a late comeback.

The Spurs had allowed the Hustle to build a 10-point lead with 5:23 remaining before Samanic took over the game. In the final 4:35, he nailed two of his three threes and got another two points from the free throw line to end the night with 20 points. No shot was bigger than the one he buried to finally give Austin the lead for good.

.@SamanicLuka ? pic.twitter.com/BRvNakCIwx

— Austin Spurs (@austin_spurs) February 10, 2021

On top of his strong finish, Luka dominated on the glass, pulling down 17 in his 31 minutes. Spurs fans have been waiting to see something out of Samanic, and so far, he’s off to a good start in the G League Bubble.

Robert Woodard II (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Robert Woodard II (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

2. Robert Woodard II

The 6-6 small forward from Missippi State had a fine performance for Austin in his G League debut. While he did most of his work in the first half, he ended up the game’s leading scorer with 25 points despite coming off the bench.

ROBERT. WOODARD. THE. SECOND. ? pic.twitter.com/1RePsi6P7S

— Austin Spurs (@austin_spurs) February 10, 2021

Woodard was also second on the team in rebounds with eight while missing just four of his 14 shot attempts. Given that he’s only had 17 minutes of NBA time as a member of the Sacramento Kings, it’s safe to say he’s looking to be noticed in the Florida bubble. He’ll be one to keep your eyes on.

San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

3. Tre Jones

The other half of Wednesday’s closing duo, Tre Jones, showed poise and leadership to mount Austin’s comeback. With the Spurs down by eight to start the fourth, Tre immediately drove in for a layup, assisted Cameron Reynolds on a 3-pointer, then knocked down a 2-point free throw in the first two minutes.

Tre’s fingerprints were all over the 37-point quarter Austin ended the game with, as he finished the afternoon with 18 points and 16 assists. He also committed just three turnovers in 34 minutes while nabbing two steals and playing his expected tough defense.

? @Tre3Jones ? pic.twitter.com/81p2TM81Dc

— Austin Spurs (@austin_spurs) February 10, 2021

With the backup point guard position being uncertain in the future, I think it’s only a matter of time before Tre Jones starts contributing meaningfully to the San Antonio Spurs in the next year or two. Until then, I expect more dominant performances out of him as Austin’s season continues.

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The Austin Spurs will be back in action Thursday as they take on the Lakeland Magic at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+ and Fox Southwest Plus.