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Spurs Stifle Rockets In Battle Of West's Bottom Two Teams

In a game between the two teams sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Spurs showed up to play. Keldon Johnson stepped up with 32 points and San Antonio put an end to its 11-game losing streak with a 118-109 home win over the Houston Rockets. Tre Jones scored a season-high 26 points to help his team improve to 7-and-18. The Rockets now own the same 7-and-18 record after losing three of their last five. Jabari Smith Junior continued his solid stretch with a team-high 23 points in the loss. Alperen Sengun notched his seventh double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On Keldon Johnson’s performance …)

“Keldon always plays hard and always plays with emotion. I thought he held the ball less. He caught it, pulled it and attacked the rim without hesitation, especially in the first half. He did that great.”


(On Tre Jones’ performance…)

“He is a competitive young man. He plays to win on every down. He’s very special in that regard. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He sticks his nose in and takes no prisoners. He’s getting more confident in his 3-point shot. He plays the game like winners play the game.”


(On the Spurs defensive performance…)

“The last couple of days, we spent working on just defense. I think that the message got across. These guys showed that it carried over from two days of practice into the game today. I think losing helps you gain that focus.”


(On Charles Bassey’s defense…)

“I thought tonight was his best night. He did a fantastic job. He was more comfortable offensively. But defensively and rebounding wise, he was fantastic.


(On Zach getting back into the game banged up…)

“He plays sort of a nasty game. I enjoy that. We don’t have a whole lot of people who play like that. We have nice guys, but Zach gives us a little bit of nastiness out there, and you need some of that.”  

Spurs Forward Keldon Johnson

(On being decisive with the ball …)

I just came into the game, and we unfortunately had [Devin Vassell] out, we had [Keita Bates-Diop] out, so we were a little undermanned. I know I just had to come out and be aggressive and lead the team. I felt like my teammates played great. It was definitely a team effort tonight. I can't take all the joy. They put me in good situations to be successful. Coach puts me in good situations to be successful. I just made the best of that opportunity, but I feel like without my teammates and coaches there, I wouldn't be standing here right now. I feel like they put their trust in me, and they give me the opportunity, and I just made the best of it tonight.” 

(On defensive carrying over from practice to the game…)

“We had a really intense practice yesterday. We got after each other, just got it all out, put it all out there. Our big emphasis was bringing it over to the game. Don't worry about nothing. One possession at a time, one play at a time. We just kept chipping away, kept chipping away. We eventually broke through tonight.” 

(On being on a role and shooting well…)

“Honestly, I was such in the zone. I felt like I didn't even notice it. I was just trying to get to my spots and just play with my teammates. I didn't really notice our first nine shots. I was just out there playing, locked in and playing for my teammates.” 

Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On how the win effects the team mind, body, and spirit…)

“It feels good to be back in the win column. I don’t think any of us have lost that many games in a row in our career. Personally, I’m not used to losing games like that. It is challenging at times, especially mentally. But it is just one of those things where you have to stay positive and continue to push forward every single day. We watch film to continue to get better. We know that if we continue to keep controlling what we can control, we’d be able to get out of the slump sooner or later. It's just one game at the end of the day. It felt good to come out [and get the win]. Now we just have to go watch film and see what we can get better and move on to the next.” 


(On his individual performance…)

“The defense they were playing, there was a lot open tonight. They made some adjustments throughout the game that helped open the floor for other guys as well. I’m just trying to do everything I can to help this team win. We’re down a couple of guys. So just trying to be more aggressive, handle that big load without those guys on the floor.”


(On the focus on defense in practice…)

“We felt that the way we’ve been practicing and the point of emphasis on defense that we’ve had in the past few days in practice has carried over. Tonight, we were a lot more physical from start to finish. In the stretches where we weren’t, we were able to snap out of it quick and get back to what we intended to do.”

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