There were some negatives, as there are with any loss. Keldon Johnson barely played in the fourth quarter and he was pretty mediocre all game. Thaddeus Young only got four minutes of time, but inversely, Bryn Forbes was pulled after seven minutes, in which he posted a box plus/minus of -10, which is surprisingly hard to do.
Despite another loss, there were many positives.
1. Lonnie Walker Jumpstarts the Comeback
Lonnie Walker played 22 minutes in the loss, and he was the main reason the Spurs lost by only four points. At one point, they were down by 18, but in the fourth quarter, Walker exploded for the first nine of San Antonio’s 11 points, making it a five-point game early in the fourth quarter. He grabbed four rebounds and was largely responsible for the Spurs’ comeback. His spectacular spin move and dunk was, unfortunately, the high point for him, as he went cold late in the game.
Popovich left him in the game because Keldon Johnson and Bryn Forbes were not about to step foot on the court, and had Lonnie been more confident with his drives to the lane when contact was imminent, he may have scored more on the inside.
The Spurs used Walker to get back in the game but didn’t have a closing lineup to finish with a win. Walker did all he could and despite his inefficient shooting, he should get credit for being a reason the game ended up being a good one.