Spurs Week in Review: Fourth quarter woes continue in another 1-3 week
Welcome to the Week in Review: a new Monday feature that will look back at the week that was for the San Antonio Spurs, see what others are saying, take a look at the week ahead, plus more. Enjoy, and any helpful feedback or suggestions to improve the content is appreciated!
Week 13: Searching for energy while waiting to be whole again
Week 14: 1-3 (17-30 overall, 13th in West) — 107-121 L vs. Phoenix Suns; 118-98 W vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 102-117 L vs. Brooklyn Nets; 109-115 L vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Another week, and more of the same from the Spurs. They won their one game against an inferior opponent but lost to three playoff-bound teams with superior talent the same way they have been for most of the season: by keeping up for three quarters or so before the offense goes cold in the fourth quarter while the opponents’ star talent takes over.
Against the league-leading Suns, the Spurs held their own for much of the night, even taking a slight lead into the fourth quarter, but just when it felt like they might be able to withstand a 48-point night from Devin Booker, Chris Paul did what he does and took control of the game. No one on the Spurs could match his intensity back, and what was a chance to steal another game from a contender and get back on track turned into another fourth-quarter loss for the Silver and Black — albeit against the best fourth quarter team in the league.
There was a brief reprieve against one of the few teams with a worse record in the Thunder, and the Spurs took advantage for a rare blowout win this season before returning to the same narrative for the next two games. Against the Nets, the Spurs held tight against the team missing Kevin Durant entering the fourth quarter, but as their offense went cold for a stretch, James Harden and Kyrie Irving took over, combining for 29 points in the quarter to outscore the Spurs (28 points) by themselves to turn a tight game into a comfortable win.
Finally, against 76ers, the Spurs spent all night keeping things close against a Philly squad that was depleted from a depth standpoint but still had Joel Embiid to throw to ball to in crunch time to make things happen. To the Spurs’ credit in this one, Jakob Poeltl punished him almost equally as much on the other end with 25 points, and they did not go cold in the fourth quarter of this game, but they just couldn’t get enough stops or avoid blunders to get over the hump, leaving them with their second 1-3 week in a row.