Spurs, Heat square off after Friday road victories


The San Antonio Spurs will need to call on all of their physical reserves when they square off against the Miami Heat in south Florida on Saturday in the second of a road back-to-back.

Any rest the Spurs had in the tank from their 12-day All-Star break was likely used up in their 157-153 double-overtime win over the host Washington Wizards and the ensuing late-night flight into Miami.

Keldon Johnson led San Antonio with 32 points, and Dejounte Murray racked up 31 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his 12th triple-double of the season, second in the NBA only to Denver’s Nikola Jokic (15).

Jakob Poeltl added 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists; Lonnie Walker IV went for 23 points, and Devin Vassell and Doug McDermott had 12 each for the Spurs.

“It’s a great example of pounding the rock,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said afterward. “Nobody hung their head — they just kept on playing.”

San Antonio has won four of its past five games. Its output on Friday against Washington was its most in a game since November 1990, when it scored 160 against Denver. The 310 combined points were the most in a game in the NBA this season.

See also  'That’s what he gets paid to do': Celtics' Jayson Tatum turns in career-defining performance to beat Bucks in Game 6

“It was a dogfight out there tonight, and I’m just glad we came away with the win,” Poeltl said. “We wanted to play hard tonight, but that’s every game for us. We tried to figure out what worked best for us against them. Offensively tonight we were flowing really well.”

Friday’s win moved Popovich to within one of the all-time NBA coaching record. His 1,334 victories are behind only Don Nelson’s 1,335.

The Heat also played on the road on Friday, waltzing to a 115-110 win over the Knicks in Manhattan. Miami, which has won seven of its past eight games, was led by Tyler Herro’s 25 points off the bench and 23 from Jimmy Butler.

Kyle Lowry added 19 points for the Heat, with Bam Adebayo racking up 16 points and 16 rebounds. Miami led by as many as 16 points late in the second quarter, but it took an 11-5 run to start the fourth quarter to put away New York and capture its sixth straight road victory.

“That’s who we are, and these are the habits that we built all year long,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “If something is working, the group has learned to maximize those moments of the game. We need everybody.”

See also  Cavaliers-Bulls pits teams fighting to rise in Eastern Conference

The Heat will play 15 of their final 21 regular-season games at home after playing the second-most road games in the NBA (33) before the All-Star break. Miami has the third-best home record in the NBA this season at 19-7.

“We’re excited,” Heat forward Duncan Robinson said Friday. “We spent a lot of this first two-thirds of the season on the road, so to be able to come back and play in front of our fans. We’re pretty good at home, so we want to continue that.”

The Heat rolled past the Spurs in San Antonio 112-95 in the two teams’ first meeting this season on Feb. 3.

–Field Level Media



Source link