The San Antonio Spurs finished a successful five-game road trip on Tuesday night with a 112-102 victory over the Thunder in Oklahoma City. On this road trip, the Spurs went 4-1, including wins over the Clippers and Lakers.
Without their leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who was back in California with his ill father, Lonnie Walker IV stepped up again for the Spurs and led the way with 24 points last night. This is his second consecutive game of 20 points or more for San Antonio.
In the two games DeRozan was out of the lineup, Walker averaged 24.5 ppg. When DeRozan plays, Walker is averaging 11.7 ppg. However, on Tuesday, the third-year guard knew that he had to be aggressive.
“Just staying aggressive,” Walker said. “That’s just the mentality I got to approach the game every single time. Other than not looking for my shot, I’m such an unselfish player that sometimes it gets the best of me. But these past two games, with DeMar not being here at the time, I knew it was the time for me to step up and kind of take that role and kind of be more aggressive since he’s not around, and it turned out the right way.”
According to Walker, his performance last Saturday against Minnesota, where he scored only seven points in 28 minutes, really motivated him to play better going forward.
“I would say that Timberwolves game when I had about seven points, kind of ate me up alive,” Walker said. “I couldn’t go to sleep that same night knowing that we had a back-to-back. I wasn’t happy with how I played offensively and defensively. My effort wasn’t there, and I knew that wasn’t me.
“All that hard work I put in the offseason. I gotta let it be known. I have to play with that confidence and not second guess myself.”
The 22-year-old Walker has a lot of ability, and an aggressive Walker appears to be a very good Walker. When DeRozan returns, the Spurs and Walker have to find a way to keep him aggressive going forward.