Spurs Top Trailblazers

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 130-111. Keldon Johnson recorded 21 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists for the Spurs, while Kris Dunn tallied 12 points and 8 assists for the Trail Blazers in the losing effort. The Spurs improve to 32-45 on the season, while the Trail Blazers fall to 27-50.

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On if he is happy with the team’s performance...)

“They’re undermanned for sure as you said, but you still take any win any way you get it. I thought we played well. It’s a good mental test. We played them pretty well in Portland, and they came back. They bust their ass. Chauncey was that kind of a player. He’s going to have high standards. They’re going to work hard for him. They got a lot of guys out. That’s obvious, so we understand that, but we still want to play well, still want to win. I think mentally our guys were very focused under the circumstances and did a good job. We’ve got another one on Sunday, and we got to do the same thing.”

(On Josh Primo’s passing game...)

“Well, he’s a good player. He’s a very good basketball player. He’s got a great demeanor and great basketball IQ for a young guy. He really handles himself well with all the men in the league. He’s growing but getting better month-to-month.”

(On if Zach Collins is getting more confident...)

“Sure. He hadn’t played for two years, so you would think that every game he’s going to be a little more confident, his rhythm going to be back a little bit, a little more bounce in his step, that kind of thing.”

Spurs Center Zach Collins

(On taking care of business without Dejounte Murray…)

“Obviously, all the games right now are super important, so we’ve got to lock in. Their team is super diminished right now, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter. I think we had a good mindset coming out, and we had to make sure that we got this win. We started out with the right mindset. Even when we go up; it’s tough to hold a lead in this league, and we stayed with it.”


(On his confidence growing with each game…)

“It’s just timing, reacting, being more comfortable with my feet. I think that sometimes my mind wants to do things and my body’s not all the way synced up yet. But I feel so much better than I did my first game back. Just leaps and bounds better, so I’ve just got to keep on that trajectory.”

(On getting into a groove hitting cutters on passes…)

“It’s tough playing against a zone. You don’t really see a lot of zones that much anymore in the NBA, so it kind of throws you off a little bit when the other team does that, especially tonight when they did from the jump. With a zone, it’s hard to go one-on-one. You need a lot of movement; you need to get the ball to the middle. Coming out of the huddle, we all knew that we had to get the ball to the middle. We couldn’t just stand and beat that zone. The guys were cutting, and luckily I was able to find them.”

Spurs Guard Lonnie Walker IV

(On how dunks early in the game affect the energy…)

“It changes the game, changes the tempo of the game, gets the crowd involved a lot more. At that point, every time we got a dunk, I think we went on a 3-0, 5-0, 7-0 run or something like that, picking it up. It really picks up our defensive aggression very quickly. I’m just happy with how hard we played. Despite being up about 28 and winning the final by 15 or 14, we locked in for the whole 48 minutes of the game.”

(On the team stepping up without Dejounte Murray and having eight guys score in double figures…)

“That’s just what we do. [Dejounte Murray] is a huge part of this team, a key player. When he’s missing, we all have to step up in every single aspect of the game. He doesn’t just bring offense, he brings defense, rebounding, you name it. Tre Jones did a great job filling in that point guard spot, keeping us together, getting steals, doing his thing. Spurs, we do a great job of just stepping up. We know what we’ve got to do, we know what we do best, we know what we do not so well, and we just play to our strengths.”

(On knocking off the rust after missing four games…)

“I’m not there yet. I’m still a step slower. I’ve got to get back to myself. It felt good, but I’m still knocking the rust off just a little bit.”

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