3 Winners and 2 Losers from Spurs statement victory over NBA powerhouse

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Winner: Defense

The Spurs entered this season with a newfound commitment to defense. San Antonio showcased vastly improved communication and attention to detail on that side of the ball, one of the main reasons for their on-court success in a statement win over a Western Conference contender on Thursday night.

San Antonio's ability to make stops early in the contest helped create transition opportunities that Pheonix had no answers for. With how young, athletic, and long this new-look Spurs team is this season, it is no surprise they thrive in the open court with intelligent passes and emphatic finishes at the rim.

The Spurs scored 17 points off 14 turnovers from the Suns, and it was clutch defensive stands late in the game from Sochan and Wembanyama that allowed the inexperienced squad to ice the game. As long as San Antonio maintains their defensive intensity throughout the year, they will be competitive night in and night out, no matter the opponent in their path.