Spurs Fall To The Clippers, 113-106

The San Antonio Spurs came up short against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, losing 113 to 106. Devin Vassell led the team with 29 points, Tre Jones had 18, Keldon Johnson had 16 and Jordan Hall had 10 to give the Spurs five players in double-figures. Paul George led the Clippers with 32 points. The Spurs are back in action on Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On Clippers talent taking over in fourth quarter …)

“Yeah, they’re better. They are better than we are. Am I allowed to say that? I was proud of our guys. I thought we did a hell of a job. We’re learning a lot of basketball, especially in the last five minutes of the game like this. That's a tough cover to play those guys’ experience. They expect to compete for a championship, so for our guys to play that hard is wonderful. It's the key. They’re making mistakes. They'll see them on film. Some were weak side defense; it wasn't there when we were in certain sets defensively. Made some poor choices here and there, couple turnovers. That's the way it is. Young team is going to make those, but I was really proud of the way they played their ass off. Clippers are solid. They are a competitor for the ring. [Tyronn] Lue does a great job. They play hard, they are unselfish, they are obviously talented, they've got a great future, they just have to get everyone healthy, and they'll be really something.” 

 (On Devin’s minutes...)

“I'm sure there are people saying those coaches are idiots. ‘Why is Devin on the bench?’ Yeah, he was on a minutes restriction. We couldn't get him back in, especially with the game tomorrow. Want to play him in both games and not just sit out. So, we had to limit his time.”

(On rebounding after going down by almost 20 in the first quarter...)

“They never give in. They might play poorly one night or get out played. That's going to happen to every team. Even the best teams in the league, but they don't hang their heads. They just keep on playing. It's just a testament to their character that they stayed in the game the way they did.”

Spurs Guard Devin Vassell

(On mentality from returning from four missed games and landing a career-high of 29 pts…)

“Just be aggressive. Let the game come to me. I put in a lot of work over the summer, and the coaches have a lot of trust and faith in me. So if there is an open shot, I’m going to shoot it. If I don’t have anything, I’m looking for my teammates. That’s what I did today.”

(On being time restricted…)

“Yeah, I was itching to get back out there. You know, it’s the help of my team. I’ve been sitting the past couple of games, and I was sitting there watching long enough, so I wanted to be out there. It was bugging me, but it was good for them. It was good for the team to learn how to play. I think we learned a lot from the last five to six minutes on defense, coverages, and what we have to do on offense. That’s a good team out there. They’ve played together for a couple of years now, so they know what they’re doing.”

(On difference from the loss against Toronto and not sinking with this team…)

“We’re resilient, we’re young, and we play defense. At the end of the day, they came out shooting 100% from three and 78% from the field. That’s not going to happen the whole game. We knew at the end of the day, we were going to get stopped on the scoring run. They went on a run; we went on a run. Just playing together. We’re young and we’re learning. 

Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On what they learned from the start and finish of the game…)

“I think we learned tonight, and if we didn’t know already, you can win and lose a game just from the way you start the game or the way you finish the game or both. We had a very slow start tonight and a slow start the other night as well. We just dug ourselves a hole we don’t need to dig ourselves to start the game, especially against teams like we’re playing right now. They have veteran guys, so we definitely need to get out to a quicker start and be able to finish down the stretch. Obviously, they have some stars over there, guys who have been in this position a lot, so they were able to pick us apart at the end there. But I think just being able to get out to a better start will be the main focus right now.”

(On his confidence level in his 3-point shot…)

“It’s something I’ve always worked on. It’s something that I continue to work on every single day to try to stay prepared for what’s thrown at me. I know the guys that I’m playing with create a lot of tension, and for my own game, I feel like that's been the only part I'm really missing. I continue to put in the work and continue to try and expand that and just stick with it.”

(On gaining drive to come back in a game…)

“We know it's a long game. Forty-eight minutes is a long time to be playing the game of basketball. We’ve had leads like that, and we gave them up. We’ve been down like that and clawed back in one game, so we know those leads like that can come and go quickly. It’s a long game, so in those moments we try not to pay attention to the score, really. Just try to take it one possession at a time, usually on defense. Tonight, it was defense. We were giving them easy looks, and they’re also hitting a lot of tough shots in that first quarter. I think they shot 76% or something in that first quarter, so we knew that some things would change. They would continue to shoot that way…and we just didn’t finish how we needed to tonight.”

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