The San Antonio Spurs have long prided themselves on developing solid role players to complement their stars. From Malik Rose to Patty Mills to Boris Diaw, the organization has come to expect excellence from anyone fortunate enough to see the court in a Spurs uniform.
For every reliable role player the Spurs have had, however, there are multiple guys that only have a standout performance on rare occasions. While all of these guys have something to offer (some more than others, as you’ll see quickly), there was something surprising about each performance I hand-picked during my research.
Let’s get right into it with my most surprising Spurs’ performances in history, ranked from least to most surprising.
5. San Antonio Spurs – Lonnie Walker (2019)
I’m a bit biased here because I happened to be at this game, but this performance truly came out of nowhere. Before Lonnie Walker led the San Antonio Spurs to a dramatic comeback victory over the Rockets in December 2019, the most he’d scored in a game was 16.
In a winter visit to the AT&T Center, James Harden and the Rockets built a 22-point lead behind a combined 72 points in the second and third quarter to give the Spurs virtually no life. That was until Walker decided to single-handedly take over the game.
With San Antonio down 105-89 with just 7:20 left, Lonnie had this unbelievable stretch:
7:03 – Driving layup
6:37 – Driving dunk
5:10 – 2 Free throws
4:53 – Dunk
3:46 – 3-Pointer
1:07 – Alley-oop layup
41.5 – Made three
11.5 – Made three
Just try watching the last few minutes of these highlights without getting pumped up.
Walker’s efforts pushed the game into overtime — one he’d begin by nailing another 3-pointer. In the end, he finished with 28 points on 4-of-7 from downtown, spoiling Harden’s 50-point game in the process. Fittingly, he’d make the final free throw to seal a 135-133, double-overtime win.
At this point in his career, most Spurs fans knew Lonnie was capable of greatness, we just didn’t expect it to all come pouring out at once.