Season 51, Game 45
San Antonio 99, Atlanta Hawks 102
29-16, 4th in the West
In what has become a disturbing trend, I am here to recap another Spurs loss against one of the worst teams in the NBA.
San Antonio followed up on its ugly, ugly loss to the Lakers with a resounding win against the Denver Nuggets. And in this road matchup with the Hawks, the Spurs came out firing. You never want to call a game in the first quarter (Even against a team tied for the worst record in the NBA), but the beginning of this game had all the makings of a blowout.
Led by – who else? – LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio raced out to an 18-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game. From that point on, Atlanta would go on a 98-81 run to win the game. The Spurs made it close, they trailed 97-98 after a pair of Patty Mills free throws with nine seconds left, but then both teams traded a few more sets of free throws before Danny Green missed an off-balanced game-tying three as the game clock expired.
Aldridge led the team with 25 points and 11 rebounds, including four offensive boards. Kyle Anderson chipped in with 13 points and six boards, and Danny Green knocked down three 3-point shots to go along with two steals and a block on the night.
Although Kawhi Leonard sat out as part of his recovery program, one of the huge bright spots going into this game was that San Antonio was finally almost injury free. Only Rudy Gay was listed on the injury report until five minutes into the game when Manu Ginobili had to exit with a thigh contusion. He would not return and is considered day-to-day.
I want to be more… worried/reactionary/enraged by a loss like this, but what’s the point? Yes, I know it was their second clunker in a three game span. And I know Atlanta has one of the worst records in the NBA. That said, the Spurs are never going to see the Hawks again this season. Sure, the Spurs’ 16 losses are the most after 45 games since 2014-15, but a 55-win season and the 3rd seed in the Western Conference is still theirs for the taking. And if this team is a healthy three seed, I like their odds of getting back to the conference finals.
Is that a big if? Maybe. Maybe not.
Editors Note: Like… 20 minutes after this was published, it was announced that Kawhi is out indefinitely, so I guess the answer is a resounding MAYBE.
Go Spurs Go.