- Via Twitter @Spurs
- The San Antonio Spurs put away the Washington Wizards Sunday night, 132-119.
After Wizards forward Thomas Bryant soared for an uncontested dunk, Coach Gregg Popovich set the tone for the Spurs, calling a timeout 16 seconds into the contest. San Antonio responded with a ten-point lead to close out the first quarter before allowing the Wizards to climb back into the game with a 43-point second quarter.
Spurs sparkplug Patty Mills addressed the teams defensive deficiencies during a recent practice.
“You hate to make excuses, but we were really solid defensively in all categories for a little bit of time there,” Mills said. “Maybe this is what new teams go through, is not being able to be consistent with that throughout a longer period of time. So, maybe that’s got to do with it, but for us to keep learning from these games and making sure it doesn’t happen again. We obviously know what we can do and it’s being consistent about it.”
A defensive-minded third quarter and strong play from the second unit turned
things around for San Antonio. With DeMar DeRozan sidelined for the second
consecutive game due to left knee soreness, Davis Bertans contributed a season high 21 points, including 5-8 from downtown to help open up the offense for Aldridge. Mills and Marco Bellinelli also contributed double figures off the bench.
Next up for the Spurs are home matchups against the Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans. As the Western Conference standings slowly start to settle, playoff seating remains in contention. After missteps against the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets at the AT&T enter earlier this season, protecting home court remains a priority for Mills and company.
“It’s being a professional athlete,” Mills said. “It’s understanding that nothing’s going to be handed you on a silver platter, and you’ve got to take what comes and learn from it and move on the best you can. There’s going to be adversities and hurdles in front of you, and that’s just being a professional player. I think that’s what also makes your comeback even sweeter, when you’re able to get back in the saddle and learn from it.”
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