Yes, the San Antonio Spurs have lost nine of 10 games, but you won’t find Spurs coach Gregg Popovich downcast about this team’s swoon.
In fact, he said he saw a lot of good things about his club’s home setback Monday to the Los Angeles Lakers, the hottest team in basketball. The Spurs trailed by only four points to start the fourth quarter before just running out of gas.
Now San Antonio will look to build on its effort, if not the result, when it hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in the second game of a three-contest homestand.
Popovich said he thinks the Spurs will bounce back.
“It was the first game after a long road trip, and that’s always tough,” Popovich told reporters after the 114-104 loss to Los Angeles. “But I thought the energy was great and I thought we did a lot of good things. Sometimes we get in our own way.
“All in all, I was pleased with a lot of things that I saw. We’re on the right track.”
San Antonio had snapped an eight-game losing streak, its longest since the 1996-97 season, on Saturday at New York.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs against the Lakers with 30 points. DeMar DeRozan finished with 24 points, and he was followed by Bryn Forbes (13) and Derrick White (11).
Popovich lauded his team for remaining positive during its recent skid.
DeRozan said, “Got to. Got to. Granted, everybody hates losing, sucks to lose, but with that, you’ve got to be resilient. Somebody once told me a mountain can’t be a mountain if it’s smooth, whatever that may mean.”
The Spurs are 4-5 at the AT&T Center this season.
The Timberwolves head to the Alamo City after a 125-113 win in Atlanta on Monday. Karl-Anthony Towns roared for 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and Andrew Wiggins added 25 points as Minnesota won for just the second time in six games.
Minnesota trailed by 10 points at halftime before erupting for 39 points in the third quarter and strolled to the finish line from there.
The Timberwolves’ depth was the difference in the win, as reserves Gorgui Dieng and Keita Bates-Diop scored 13 points each. Minnesota’s bench outscored Atlanta’s 46-33.
“Gorgui was amazing.” Towns said. “He’s an amazing guy to have in the locker room. We’re in this to win. We’re not about individual accolades.”
Guard Jeff Teague was moved out of the starting lineup for the Timberwolves to add the team’s bench impact, and there was an immediate improvement. He had eight points and eight assists in the victory.
“Jeff is a professional, and he’s a man,” Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said. “It came about with him and I having a casual conversation. He said, ‘I’m good with whatever role you want me in.’ He saw and agreed that there was a need in that second unit.”
The Spurs own an 89-31 all-time record against Minnesota, including a 51-9 mark in games played in San Antonio. The Timberwolves have not won in the Alamo City since April 2013, having dropped the past 11 there.
–Field Level Media