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FINAL: Shorthanded Spurs fall off in fourth quarter, fall to Knicks 111-96

This is the final regular-season meeting between the Spurs and Knicks.

SAN ANTONIO —

Game Story

First Quarter

Lonnie Walker IV scored the first four points for San Antonio, fresh off his season-high 25 points against the Nets on Sunday. Dejounte Murray and Josh Primo each scored in the paint, and Walker put the Spurs in front 10-9 with a floater.

Keita Bates-Diop finished a feed from Primo, Tyler Johnson took a charge, and Murray swished a mid-range fader. The next trip down, DJ drilled a triple off the bounce. The Spurs took a five-point lead, but New York tied it at 17.

Primo knocked down a corner three, and the Knicks struggled to take care of the ball. 

New York took the lead back, but Walker made a few disruptive defensive plays, Bryn Forbes checked in from downtown, and the Spurs held a 26-23 lead after one.

Second Quarter

Jakob Poeltl finished a slick feed from Lonnie, then recovered a loose ball and put it up and in. The next trip down he passed to Dejounte Murray who got a physical mid-range shot to go, drawing a Knicks timeout with the Spurs matching their largest lead of 5.

Dejounte blasted through a gap in the defense and finished a tough and-1, then forced a miss. On the next trip he ran pick and roll and dumped it off to Poeltl, who floated in what could have been a dunk to push the lead to eight.

New York scored five in a row and had a few loud dunks before a Poeltl putback. Pop called time with the Spurs clinging to a 39-38 lead.

Primo found KBD in transition for an easy layup, but the Knicks hit their fifth three to tie it at 41. New York capitalized on a Spurs turnover and took the lead. Bryn Forbes and Devontae Cacok scored, but the Knicks extended their lead to four.

Dejounte ripped a steal and dunked on the run, and San Antonio trailed 51-49 at halftime.

Third Quarter

Dejounte Murray opened the second half with a crafty pump fake and finish in close to tie the game at 51. New York answered, but Josh Primo got to a mid-range shot in pick and roll and swished it to tie.

RJ Barrett hit on the other end, then Poeltl tied it off a feed from Primo. The Knicks built their biggest lead of five points before Primo snatched a block from Evan Fournier and Lonnie found the corner in transition for three.

The Spurs fouled Fournier on a three-point attempt, and the Knicks built their largest lead at seven. Primo hit another three, then Murray finished a drive with an effortless floater. A few possessions later he popped in a mid-range j to give him 20 points.

The Spurs missed a three to tie, then gave up a transition three. Murray answered with an in-between stepback. RJ Barrett posted up Forbes into an and-1, then he set up a three for a teammate, and the Knicks pushed their lead to a dozen.

Lonnie stopped an 8-0 run with a fading jumper, then drove in through contact for three the old-fashioned way. San Antonio halved that 12-point deficit as New York missed free throws.

DJ put back his own miss, then Primo stole free throws at the buzzer to make it 82-75 with 12 minutes left.

Fourth Quarter

RJ Barrett pushed it to 12 for New York before Jakob Poeltl stuffed him on a drive. The Knicks pushed it to 17 with 9 minutes left. A few minutes later it was 23 points, and at that point, San Antonio's lineup was changed to consist mainly of G Leaguers who got the call up and guys on 10-day deals.

Pregame

The San Antonio Spurs (15-24) will visit the New York Knicks (19-21) Monday as the Spurs finish their long 7-game road trip. The Spurs and Knicks will meet for the final time this season as the Spurs are 0-1 versus New York.

In addition, the Spurs will be without several key players due to NBA COVID protocols.

In the Spurs' previous game, the team lost to the Nets, 121-119, in overtime.

Lonnie Walker IV led the team with 25 points. Dejounte Murray finished with 19 points and nine assists. Josh Primo ended with 12 points.

Here are five things to watch for in tonight's game:

1. The Knicks have won three-straight games at home and are 6-4 overall versus the West.

2. The Knicks are averaging 98.0 points per game through two games in January. 

3. The Knicks are 15-3 overall when leading after the third period.

4. The Spurs are 7-9 overall versus East teams this season and 3-5 versus East teams on the road.

5.  The Spurs have lost two-straight games and are 15-2 overall when leading after the third period.

Stay here at KENS 5 throughout the season for complete Spurs coverage.

 Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5