Jalen Brunson led all scorers with 25 points for New York. RJ Barrett finished the night with 24 points, and Julius Randle recorded a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Jeremy Sochan led the Spurs in scoring with 16 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Victor Wembanyama and Malaki Branham scored 14 points apiece.
San Antonio is now fourth in the Southwest Division at 3-and-5.
SPURS POSTGAME QUOTES:
SPURS HEAD COACH GREGG POPOVICH
On what he looks for in his lineup:
“Play two bigs. Sometimes you go small, sometimes you play two bigs. Depends on what is going on on the court, and what the matchups are. What works best for the people you have on the court, a little bit of everything right now in the beginning of the season.”
On Jeremy Sochan and Charles Bassey:
“I thought Charles Bassey and Jeremy [Sochan] were fantastic tonight. They did a great job.”
On playing at Madison Square Garden:
“Maybe it’s just the history. I’ve seen a lot in my years. As far back as I can remember, even as a kid. I got to see Dick Barnett tonight and Walt [Clyde Frazier] sitting across the court. I got to talk with Dick a little bit and you think of that history and that court. The fans are great, the way things are set up, it’s iconic.”
SPURS FORWARD VICTOR WEMBANYAMA
On his first experience at Madison Square Garden / his experience overall today:
"I was trying to get used to the rhythm, so it was just like another away game. It's a chance to play in such a great arena. We did have a rough start collectively. But we're young - the youngest team in the league, so we're learning."
On having the target of being the number one draft pick to other teams:
"Of course, but it's not something new. I've seen that in past years. In some ways, this challenge is always to stay lucid and keep our collective game good."
On the Spurs defense tonight:
"I think all of us on the court have good intentions and we learn a lot from the coaching staff defensively, so we're just trying to apply what they say. I think what's good is we're bringing energy all the time, so this is a good start. We have great potential defensively. I know in the past games, especially in Phoenix, we've seen great defensive sequences. We're just all getting it together."
On the Spurs current losing streak / shooting struggles:
"It's not a big deal. We're learning. As a young team, and any team really, we're going to go through losing streaks at some point during the season and have tough times. It's going to happen, but the most important thing is how we bounce back.”
SPURS GUARD TRE JONES
On Spurs defense:
“The rough start definitely doesn’t help and tonight it was both halves. We got off to a slow start and we were digging ourselves out of the hole the entire time. The other night was obviously the backend of a back-to-back loss – they came out and hit fourteen threes in the first half so that was tough to decide what that is when a team shoots that well from three in one half. Tonight, we needed to get out to a better start.”
On open three-point shots:
“We’re trying to protect the paint a lot and keep teams outside the paint as much as possible – keeping them away from the basket and getting the easy looks. Sometimes teams will get open threes, but we have to be able to rotate on the backside and take those away or at least contest them if anything.”
On Victor Wembanyama:
“Some teams will try to attack him and be very aggressive with him, but it is what it is and as long as he continues to develop like we know he will it’ll be like that for however long he plays. This is something that we’ll have to get used to. We’ll have to have this in our minds right away and know that we have to come out and bring it to these teams.”
On playing at Madison Square Garden:
“There’s nothing like the garden, it’s my favorite arena in the entire world. I love the atmosphere here and I love playing here– every year whenever we play at the garden I know when it is.”
SPURS FORWARD KELDON JOHNSON
On expectations for the Spurs:
“I don’t know what everyone’s expectations are, we just need to figure each other out. We’re not supposed to click right away, it’ll take time to be a good team and we’re just figuring it out – it’s growing pains and it happens.”
On the team’s focus after Phoenix:
“We stay levelheaded, and we don’t get too high or too low. It’s a long season and its hard to be hyped after two games, but that’s what everyone else is for. We stay together, we stay locked in, we continue to strive and watch film and better ourselves each and every day. We’ll be back at it tomorrow working on things and getting better – that’s the main thing.”
On loss tonight:
“I wouldn’t panic but of course people will. We worry about each other, and we play for each other, and our main thing is to figure things out, so we don’t have these types of losses.”