After playing more than 30 minutes of uninspired basketball against the hosting Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs’ second team found their mojo.
James Anderson, Matt Bonner, Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Tiago Splitter rallied together, making 10 of their first 13 shots to begin the fourth quarter erasing an 18-point deficit in the process. In fact, the starters, most notably Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, were rendered spectators like their hobbled teammate, Manu.
Time and time again, Gary Neal demonstrated the moxie he was so memorable for last season. Bonner found his touch from behind the arc, and at one point Spurs fans were treated to a rare play-by-play call: “Bonner with a floater.” Tiago showed grit, further distancing himself from the timidness of last season.
Tied at 91, Danny Green received the inbound pass with .5 seconds on the clock, successfully connecting on a running fade.
But, upon further review by the officials, it was determined Green released the ball after the final horn sounded.
Wherein costly turnovers and missed defensive rotations proved to be the Spurs' downfall.
Final score: Dallas 101 - San Antonio 100
Sunday night’s game still appeared to yield an overall net positive as the Spurs face Monday's visit to Memphis. Maybe more long-term than anything else.
No Tim or Tony during the final quarter or overtime. Of course, no Manu. And a player like Gary Neal who’s struggled with finding his swagger, appeared unshakeable. Tiago exhibited moments of sensational footwork, just coming short on some buckets. And James Anderson, whose third-year option was recently declined by the Spurs, hasn’t appeared deterred or petulant in his play, contributing a solid eight points and grabbing five rebounds.
Sunday night’s game proved to be one of those nights many Spurs fans had probably already chalked up for a loss. Maybe changed stations or walked away from the television for awhile to grab some liquid consolation.
Suddenly, hope appeared on the horizon and our destiny was in the hands of our second unit. But, it wasn’t to be our night.
Let’s be honest, and no disrespect, is it reasonable to expect Danny Green to deliver two buzzer beaters in one night? Even if the prior was tardy?
What a tease.