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Season 50, Game 49 San Antonio 102, Philadelphia 86 38-11, 2nd in the West I was excited to see Joel Embiid; I was happy he wasn’t playing. The Sixers aren’t as bad as you think. Perception often lags behind reality, and the Sixers of the last few years (punching bag of the NBA) don’t exist anymore. Sure, they’re not great, but they win games. They’re competitive. They even have an…

Season 50, Game 48 San Antonio 108, Oklahoma City 94 37-11, 2nd in the West The bad news: the Spurs still struggle to play a solid 48 minutes of basketball. The good news? They’ve upped it from 24 minutes to closer to 36. To play at a high level for 48 minutes is actually quite difficult. In every game, there will be ebbs and flows on both sides. The trick…

Season 50, Game 47 San Antonio 101, Dallas 105 36-11, 2nd in the West It seems the Spurs were doomed to repeat the lessons of the previous game. The parallels are striking. After a high-scoring back-and-forth first quarter, the Spurs opened up a nice little lead in the second quarter, putting themselves in a nice position to put the game away early in the second half. However, the opponent made…

Season 50, Game 46 San Antonio 103, New Orleans 119 36-10, 2nd in the West For whatever reason (yes, like you, I can think of a few pretty obvious ones), the Spurs always seem to struggle in New Orleans. Always. Yes, they win some games there; but, relative to comparative talent between the two teams, it’s always closer than it should be. One need only look back to the end…

Season 50, Game 45 San Antonio 108, Toronto 106 36-9, 2nd in the West With the game tied heading into the fourth quarter (on the road and down the team’s best player), Pop put Murray, Forbes, Bertans, Anderson, and David Lee on the floor against the Raptor’s (2nd best team in the East) arguably best unit: Kyle Lowry and the bench. For those keeping track, that’s 3 rookies, a first…

Trace Ronning writes: No Pau, no Tony, no Timmy? NO PROBLEM. San Antonio traveled into enemy territory and took down the reigning NBA champs in overtime on Saturday night behind Kawhi Leonard’s career-high 41 points. I’ll get to my 3 key takeaways in a second, but first I want to give a bonus key to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for his session with the media before the game. Whether or…

Season 50, Game 44 San Antonio 112, Brooklyn 86 35-9, 2nd in the West With about three minutes remaining in the first half, the Spurs were winning 39-38, and it looked like all the hallmarks of a letdown game after the big win Saturday night. With Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, and Manu Ginobili all out, the margin of error was even narrower than normal. The last thing we…

Season 50, Game 43 San Antonio 118, Cleveland 115 (OT) 34-9, 2nd in the West What a game. The Spurs ended the game shooting exactly 50% from the field; the Cavs finished at 49.5%. The Spurs shot 38.5% from 3, while the Cavs shot 38.2% from 3. Both teams made 12 free throws (though the Cavs ended up shooting 8 more). The Cavs out-rebounded the Spurs by 1, 47-46. The…

Season 50, Game 42 San Antonio 118, Denver 104 33-9, 2nd in the West Stop me if this sounds familiar: the Spurs play a high scoring first half lacking in defense, only to come out strong in the second half and put the game away with increased defensive effort. Denver scored 58 points in the first half, 46 in the second. The Spurs, meanwhile, scored exactly 59 in both halves. It…

Season 50, Game 41 San Antonio 122, Minnesota 114 32-9, 2nd in the West This game seemed to follow a familiar script for the Spurs this season: a high-scoring first half (read: poor defense) followed by a tough, defensive-focused second half to secure the win. That first half really was something. The teams combined to score 138 points and shoot 52 free throws. I thought the game might never end….