Spurs’ Popovich: ‘The group understands no defense, no wins’

The San Antonio Spurs(11-8) are taking advantage of some home cooking right now. San Antonio is in the midst of a seven-game homestand and beat a very good Denver Nuggets(11-8) team last night 119-109. 

San Antonio is 3-1 on this homestand.

DeMar DeRozan was the star of the game for the Spurs. DeRozan was 11/14 from the field with 30 points and 10 assists, and Dejounte Murray poured in 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter.

DeRozan played an efficient game on Friday night, and according to him, he just took what the defense gave him.

“I just go out there and play,” he said. “I don’t go out there and try to do too much. I try to treat it like it’s a chess game. Just go out there and take what they give me, play the right way, be aggressive, and never try to force anything. That’s just my mindset when I go out there and play.”

Nikola Jokic led Denver with a game-high 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. 

San Antonio led 87-86 going into the fourth quarter, and in that final period, the Spurs stepped up the defense. After a Jokic three that tied the game at 95 midway through the fourth, the Spurs went on a 24-14 run to finish the game. 

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was happy with his team’s defense. According to Pop, defense leads to wins. 

“They did a good job,” Pop said. “Denver is one of the toughest teams to guard. They have such great movement. They’re so well-coached. They’re consistent night after night in what they do, and we were able to show some darn good aggressiveness…

“We got some young kids setting the tone defensively. We’re more athletic in that regard, and I think as a whole, the group understands that no defense, no wins.”

DeRozan added about the defense: “Play with a lot of energy, scrambled. The guy was helping the next guy. Whenever we made a mistake, we were aggressive. We kind of set the tone.”

Defense wins championship, and in the last two games against Boston and Denver, San Antonio has played well on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, which is one reason they have won three straight games. They go for a fourth consecutive victory on Saturday night against Memphis.

 

 

 

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