Sunday, February 25

Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell help the Spurs punch their ticket into the play-in

The Spurs battled back and forth with the Nuggets but rode a 4th quarter run into a big win over Denver their spot in the play-in. Although the Suns beating the Lakers helped cement the Spurs’ position in the play-in tourney last night, the good guys played a great game and continued to dial up their defense. Dejounte Murray missed another game due to illness, but the Spurs showed a complete team effort in putting the Nuggets away.

Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell each had 20 points to lead the Spurs in scoring while Josh Richardson sniped from downtown all night to the tune 4 made three-pointers to go along with his 18 total points scored. Tre Jones continued his excellent play filling in for Murray as he scored 14 points and dished out 10 assists.

The last time Keldon Johnson scored less than 20 points was March 20, 2022, which isn’t that long ago. But in the seven games since then, Johnson must have drank some Felix Felicis because he has averaged 22.8 points in that span. Johnson is his usual fiery bowling ball of pure energy up and down the court, but his extra aggressiveness on offense is contributing to the scoring uptick.

Devin Vassell is becoming more than just a 3 and D type of player. But on Tuesday night, the second-year Spur was surgical from beyond the arc, going 4 – 6 from deep and making his presence known on both ends of the floor.

If you think Yellow Ledbetter is the best Pearl Jam song ever, dunk the ball with two hands off an alley-oop. Jakob Poeltl put some extra juice behind that slam to punctuate the Spurs big win and ultimately put the game on ice.

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Devin Vassell letting it fly and making it drop. Vassell’s shot is so pure and the high smooth arc of the ball as it swooshes through the net is just a thing of beauty. Vassell continues to play within his comfort zone (shoot open threes, take an occasional mid-range shot), but his confidence grows with each game to the point where Spurs fans will get used to Vassell being a more consistent scorer.

If at first you don’t succeed, Tre tried again. He also pushed the rock up the court and found a streaking Josh Richardson for an open three. Speaking of streaking (in Will Ferrell voice), the Spurs are going streaking! With a three-game winning streak, the Spurs look to keep the good times rolling in early April.

Tre Jones with a Treception of the ball and takes it back the other way for a quick two. Jones was masterful at running the offense and has proven to be a plus backup point guard for the Spurs. Filling in for Dejounte Murray has also provided him with extra confidence due to the heavy minutes.

Josh Primo out here recreating the Manu Ginobili block of James Harden in the 2017 playoffs. The moment wasn’t as big as Ginobili’s dagger block/steal, but it looked just as cool.

Here, Josh Richardson pestered the Nuggets and rewarded himself with an easy dunk off the steal. Richard continues to be huge off the bench, contributing on defense and letting loose threes from deep. On Tuesday night, Richardson could not miss, making 4 three-pointers.

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And last but never least, the full-game highlights:

Next up, the Spurs head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

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