Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Finishing on a high note

Eight Spurs score in double figures in season finale drubbing over Pistons
Courtesy of Spurs/Reginald Thomas II
Zach Collins (player) – forward (position)

The Spurs walked off the Frost Bank Center court for the final time this spring on Sunday afternoon in dominant fashion, drubbing the Pistons 123-95 in the two teams’ season finale.

The 28-point victory came without stars Victor Wembanyama, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan, who all were held out with various injury cautions. The Spurs (22-60) saw their inexperienced players in NBA action against the Pistons (14-68), where eight players finished in double-digit scoring.

“They play hard, they play for each other,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s why I’ve said all the things I’ve said all year about them. No need to repeat it, but it’s a hell of a group.”

San Antonio and Detroit played a close first quarter before the Spurs blew open the game in the second to go into halftime up 63-40. The lead reached its peak at 34 in the second half, which was attributed to the team’s shooting, where the Spurs shot 54.4% from the field and 44.1% from beyond the arc. The Spurs also had 26 fast break points to the Pistons nine and finished the game with 33 assists.

Sandro Mamukelashvili led the team with 18 points, while both Zach Collins and Blake Wesley followed with 17. Collins played a team-low 16 minutes as he left early in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. Popovich said he would have an MRI on Monday. Unfamiliar faces in David Duke Jr. (15), Devonte’ Graham (12) and RaiQuan Gray (10) carried the scoring load off the bench.

While matching last season’s disappointing record despite adding Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick last June, the Spurs’ season progression should be noted.

After going on a franchise-worst 18-game losing streak early on and sitting at 11-48 entering the annual Rodeo Road Trip in February, it looked as if San Antonio would mail it in. The Spurs, however, continued to improve and show their growth through the final two months of the season, closing the last 23 games 11-12 and turning the blowout losses into short, down-to-the-wire finishes.

Popovich acknowledged the positive momentum heading into summer.

“Well certainly not a bad sign,” he said, “so let’s call it a good sign.”

Despite an overall disappointing season, the Spurs gave fans and themselves every bit of excitement heading into the offseason. Having won seven of its last 11 games, including victories over playoff-bound teams such as the Suns, Knicks, Pelicans and Nuggets, San Antonio ends the season perhaps in better spirits than most other nonplayoff teams.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Luke Lawhorn
Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor
Luke (he/him) is an English major at UTSA and is set to graduate in the Spring of 2024. This is his fifth semester at The Paisano and his fourth as the Sports Editor. Along with covering UTSA sports and events, Luke also covers high school sports and local events for the San Antonio Express-News and covers the San Antonio Spurs for The Paisano. He has a huge passion for covering sports and giving his opinion on them. Outside of writing and talking about sports, Luke's hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies and all things outdoors.

Comments (0)

The Paisano intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Paisano does not allow anonymous comments, and The Paisano requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Paisano Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *