The San Antonio Spurs have played their best basketball of the season over the past week but will have to be even better when they host the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
The Spurs look to finish off their three-game homestand on a positive note. San Antonio’s most recent game was a 110-102 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday that snapped the Spurs’ three-game losing streak.
San Antonio had six players score in double figures during the defeat, led by Derrick White’s 21 points. Jakob Poeltl tallied 10 rebounds and 13 rebounds.
Dejounte Murray missed his second straight contest for the Spurs after entering the league’s health and safety protocols on Sunday.
San Antonio never led after the middle of the first quarter and was a dreadful 1 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half. However, the Spurs never gave up, clawing within eight points in the final minute.
“It was one of those nights we just didn’t shoot well but the same energy wasn’t quite there,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Since it’s such a great group of guys, the second half, they did everything they could to muster up the energy, get back in it, but got to give Utah credit.
“We had to do a lot of things right, and that didn’t happen. Overall, it was a good game for improvement, understanding how we have to play and what this is all about. I’m actually pleased.”
The Spurs had scored at least 110 points in nine consecutive games, their longest such streak since doing so in 11 straight games in March 1984.
“We’re just getting better each game, we compete, and we’re just learning,” White said. “A lot of young guys, so we’re just learning each and every day and just getting better and better.”
The Heat head to San Antonio for the second game of a home-road back-to-back that started with a 119-112 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. Tyler Herro paced COVID-compromised Miami with 32 points off the bench in the victory.
“I’m just going to attack, looking for ways to get fouled,” Herro said. “I feel with my handle I can get to any spot on the floor.”
Jimmy Butler added 25 points and a career-high 15 assists before sustaining an ankle injury in the final minute. Duncan Robinson scored 26 points for Miami, hitting 8 of 16 3-point attempts, and Omer Yurtseven logged 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Heat played without Kyle Lowry and Udonis Haslem (health and safety protocols), Bam Adebayo (thumb), Markieff Morris (beck) and Dewayne Dedmon (knee).
“This team has great resolve and just a great positive approach every day,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Guys just keep on trying to find solutions, and we were able to do that (Tuesday).”
Butler’s availability for Wednesday’s game, the first of a seven-game road trip, was unclear.
Miami swept the season series from the Spurs last season, but San Antonio still owns a 44-23 all-time edge over the Heat.
–Field Level Media