Spurs (20-10) 12/16/2017
San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks (98-96)
Rumors were flying that this would be Kawhi’s much-anticipated return to the AT&T Center court, but to my dismay, the Messiah did not return home. I was in attendance watching the Spurs struggle against rivals, the Mavericks, for almost the entirety of the game. Without Kawhi & Tony (injury management), no Green (groin) & no Anderson (MCL), Spurs used their young guns & many line-up changes to earn redemption against Dallas.
LaMarcus scored his 12th double/double of the season with 21 points & 14 rebounds & was a key player in helping lockdown this W for San Antonio. He held strong in his “big man” role & showed up both offensively & defensively. Gasol, on the other hand, was invisible on the court yet again, scoring 0 points in his 15 minutes on the court & forcing LA to pick up the offensive slack. Gasol has only scored 4 points in the past THREE games. These are embarrassing numbers for a rookie, let alone a veteran All-Star. It may be time to put out an Amber Alert for this 37-year-old NBA star.
Meanwhile our young guns dominated on the floor & showcased some major bench talent. Murray played an integral role in helping bring the Spurs back from a third straight loss with 14 points, 6 rebounds & 4 assists in just 20 minutes. His ability to cut through the paint like water & his freakishly long arms are tools the Spurs will need as the regular season begins to wind down. If he can just work on his jump shots, he will be a key element in our route to playoffs. Fellow ginger, Bertans, put up the best plus/minus of the night with 13 points & 7 rebounds & Forbes (in his 3rd start of the season) showcased his three-point shot from the arc. Pop showcased some different plays & line-up changes tonight, but in the end a 40-year-old, future HOFamer would make his second game-winning buzzer beater of the season.
For our fourth (and final) matchup this season, Mavs brought the heat & kept the Spurs at bay for four quarters, until Spurs gained their first and only lead of the game in the final 4 minutes. After missing 7 shots in a row, & giving up 2 turnovers, Spurs managed to outscore the Mavs 13-0 in the last few minutes. Then Manu “Grandpa Juice” Ginobili gets subbed in with 1:00 left of the game. In a final play that only the Spurs could pull off, LA scores (tying the game) with :23 left, rebounds & passes to Manu. Manu goes in the paint & scored a perfect driving layup with only :03 left. Manu came through in the clutch yet again for his second game-winner at the buzzer in a week & proved that Manu’s gonna Manu.
I will be uploading my video I took of the game-winner on my FB as well.