SAN ANTONIO — On short rest the Spurs fought and scrapped for 48 minutes against the visiting Hawks, came back from a double-digit deficit to force five more minutes, gave everything they had until the end of double overtime, and fell 134-129.
"They've showed a lot of grit, and a lot of downright fiber of hanging in, playing tough. This was three in four nights, so I’m happy that they don’t die," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich of his team's effort. "Just going to keep working to try and get a little more disciplined and make less errors."
Derrick White set career highs with 29 points and seven made threes, while DeMar DeRozan led the team with 36 points and 9 assists. Both spoke after the tough loss.
San Antonio managed to hold Trae Young in check during regulation, but he exploded in the overtime periods to finish with 28 points, joining Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic with that number. Young also had 12 assists, while Capela added 17 boards and 5 blocks in a huge game.
San Antonio's effort can't be questioned, but they also missed an opportunity to beat a shorthanded Hawks team. Trae Young entered the overtime period with five fouls, and the Spurs couldn't get him out of the game as he went off and buried them.
The Spurs generated good shots and jacked up 40 threes, hitting just 13. Patty Mills was 1-8 from deep, and played 32 minutes including heavily down the stretch. Rookie Devin Vassell had twice as many points in 12 minutes, and brings more on defense. On a night when the veteran isn't hitting anything, the coaching staff should probably consider rolling with the kid instead.
Trae Young threw a lob that looked like it had too much loft on it until Clint Capela timed his jump perfectly.
Derrick White pumped at the arc, drove into the middle of the paint, split two defenders and hit a difficult and-1.
Young made a floater, then found Bogdanovic on a defensive miscommunication for a layup to put the Hawks back up three. Patty Mills found Jakob Poeltl for a rolling layup, but DeMar missed a jumper from the free throw line before Young knocked down a three and then drove in for a floater.
DeRozan drove in and got a pair of free throws, giving him 36 and cutting the deficit to four with 1:07 to play. A tough defensive possession forced a miss, and Rudy Gay lined up a deep three early in the clock, cutting it to one.
Young drove and kicked to Gallinari in the corner, and he knocked it down with defenders in the area to make it 133-129 with 12 seconds left.
Derrick White caught at the arc and took a pump fake a little too far, getting called for a travel.
Neither team shot well to start the final period, but Dejounte Murray finished in transition and DeMar DeRozan hit another jumper.
Trae Young didn't hit a single triple in overtime, but finally knocked one down, and then another jumper. DeRozan got free throws to make it 117-116 Hawks.
Young got a switch on Rudy Gay, patiently attacked, and hit a floater. Gay hit a three on the other end to tie it at 119. Physical defense forced a miss by young, and the Spurs had a chance to take the lead late, but a DeMar pump fake didn't earn a foul call and a tough three by White didn't fall.
Atlanta took a timeout to draw up another game-winning look with 16.6 seconds left.
Young took it up slowly, drew a double team, got a switch, passed it off to Bogdon Bogdonovic, who had 26 points.
He swished the jumper, but the ball was still on his fingertips as the buzzer sounded. The game went to double overtime tied at 119.
DeMar DeRozan picked up right where he left off in the third: breaking down Atlanta's zone. He hit another mid-range jumper, then posted up and dropped it off to Drew Eubanks for an open dunk.
Dejounte Murray took his turn attacking the 2-3, driving and kicking to Patty in the corner for three. Rudy Gay got his on the next play, driving in off a screen and pulling up in the paint for a smooth jumper to cut the deficit to one. The zone ended after that.
Atlanta pushed their lead back to five, but Poeltl stopped Capela at the rim and Rudy Gay knocked down an open three on a feed from Patty Mills.
After another solid stop at the rim, Derrick White hit his seventh triple of the game to add to his career high and cut it to one once more. Atlanta answered at the line, but DeMar hit yet another jumper.
Pop called timeout down 102-99 with 4:10 to play.
DeRozan spun in for a layup, but Young answered with his own. Pop called time once more, allowing a team that had to be tired to catch their breath a bit more.
After a few misses both ways, Bogdanovic hit another three himself to put the Hawks back up 6. Young had a chance to extend it, but Poeltl made a nice stop and Gay got free throws in transition.
The Spurs applied pressure and the Hawks turned it over, and Mills had a good look from deep but missed badly short.
Trae Young drove and tried a lob to Capela, but Jak sniffed it out and Dejounte finished in transition to cut it to two. He bumped into Trae Young near the arc and got called for a foul, giving him two shots with 40 seconds left to put the Hawks up 109-105.
The Spurs missed and Atlanta headed the other way in transition, and Murray finished a driving scoop in transition, and-1, to make it 109-108 Hawks with 15 seconds left.
He fouled Young, who missed his first at the line as an 88% free throw shooter on the season.
Pop called his last timeout, down two points with 11.4 to play. They went to DeMar DeRozan, he went to his spot in the paint, pulled up off the bounce, and drained it to tie at 110.
Atlanta still had a chance to win on an inbound with 2.7 seconds left. Trae got a good look, but Derrick White turned an easy layup into a tough floater that missed at the buzzer.
They went to overtime tied at 110 after the Spurs completed their comeback in the nick of time.
Derrick White missed a floater, but Jakob Poeltl was in perfect position for the board. Capela fouled him hard to prevent the layup, but he hit it anyway and even drilled the free throw.
On another second-chance opportunity, White drove in and banked it in. Atlanta's Bojan Bogdanovic knocked down a pair of early triples, matching Capela with 18 points.
The Spurs got a stop, and DeMar DeRozan hit a jumper. Bogdanovic came off a screen and White defended him well, but he knocked down his third triple anyway. Bogdonavic drove and kicked to Tony Snell in the corner, who put the Hawks up 11.
Out of the timeout, DeMar took it at Snell for a driving and-1.
Bogdanovic finally missed over a great shot contest by White, and Dejounte Murray drew a foul on him in transition.
White drew a charge on Young, who had yet to get into a flow offensively. On the other end, he hit his fifth triple of the game over the smaller Trae. He attacked him in pick and roll, and forced him to take his fourth foul. Then the Spurs got a lucky extra possession, and White took advantage with his sixth triple of the game, a career high.
Keldon Johnson cut hard for a tough layup, cutting San Antonio's deficit to three. The Spurs had quality opportunities to take it further, but couldn't convert.
Atlanta pushed their lead back to seven and went to a zone defense. DeMar found the soft spot in it and hit a mid-range jumper. He drove and kicked to Devin Vassell, who knocked down a corner three.
DeRozan ripped through on a eurostep, lost it mid-air, caught it and finished. The refs gave him the and-1, and the Hawks were livid, but had already used their challenge.
He drove in for another calm mid-range j, giving him 22 points.
With a quarter to play, the Spurs had cut their deficit to 84-80.
Derrick White opened the second quarter by catching it a few steps behind the line and drilling another three to cut San Antonio's deficit back to single digits. He ran pick and roll, pulled up and drained his fourth triple of the first half.
Patty Mills secured a turnover, then flipped it ahead to Gay to make it a quick 8-0 run to cut it to 32-30.
Atlanta responded with their own run to extend their lead back to eight as the Spurs played with great effort to generate extra chances, but with no payoff.
Dejounte Murray had had about enough of that, so he put on some moves and hit three mid-range js in a row. The Spurs struggled to get stops, however, so little progress was made.
Atlanta used their only challenge to overturn a particularly obvious out-of-bounds call, which they won, but that meant they didn't have any more challenges for the game, all for a non-scoring, non-fouling play in the second quarter.
Devin Vassell made a perfect read to pick off an easy pass, then turned it into a transition and-1.
Jakob Poeltl got to the free throw line after a rough night last night, and his first hit every part of the rim and rattled in before he missed the second.
Derrick White went inside the arc and beat the buzzer from the elbow, then DeRozan drove in so slowly nobody realized he was about to dunk it. When he missed his next shot, Poeltl was there to put it back in.
San Antonio trailed 54-48 at halftime after winning the second quarter 26-22, an improvement on both ends. Center Clint Capela put up 18 first-half points against the Spurs.
Trae Young and DeMar DeRozan traded mid-range jumpers to get the game going.
DeMar fed Jakob Poeltl for a pop-a-shot in the lane, then found Derrick White for three. DeRozan called his own number and drove in, and when he missed, he flipped it to Poeltl for an alley-oop. DeRozan got free throws after that, and White knocked down his second triple.
Defending Young in pick and roll, he poked the ball away impressively from behind.
White pumped at the arc, drove in, and whipped it to Keldon Johnson in the opposite corner for three.
The Hawks got back in the game with free throws, and DeRozan hit a jumper to tie it at 21.
Atlanta lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu scored six in a row, and San Antonio's offense stalled completely, scoring just one point in the final four minutes of the quarter. Brandon Goodwin pulled up from deep and beat the buzzer, and Atlanta held a 32-22 lead after a quarter.
When, where: Thursday, 7:30 p.m., San Antonio
All-time series record: Spurs lead 56-40
Last season: Hawks won series 2-0
Season series: Spurs lead 1-0
Last meeting: Spurs won 125-114
Hawks' last game: Won vs. Spurs, 132-115
Spurs' last game: Lost vs. Kings, 132-115
Hawks' last 10 games/streak: 6-4, lost 2
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 5-5, won 1
Hawks' injury/inactive report: John Collins, OUT (ankle); Kris Dunn, OUT; De'Andre Hunter, OUT .
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Lonnie Walker IV, OUT (wrist); Keita Bates-Diop, OUT (hamstring); Gorgui Dieng, OUT (shoulder).
Before San Antonio tipped off the second night of their back-to-back, this one against the Hawks, coach Gregg Popovich guessed that newly acquired center Gorgui Dieng would take at least a week to recover after spraining his wrist in his debut.
The Hawks are dealing with a worse injury situation, with star big man John Collins out along with De'Andre Hunter and Kris Dunn.
San Antonio returned the favor to the Kings Wednesday, building a 23-point lead early in the second half and holding on for the blowout win 120-106.
They scored 69 points in the first half and started the second half 9-10 from the floor, and when they went cold with just three baskets in almost a quarter of game time, it barely mattered because the lead was so big, they got to the line, and the defense held.
DeMar DeRozan led the way with 26 points, and he had 7 assists all in the first quarter. All other Spurs starters scored 11 points or more, so did Patty Mills and Rudy Gay off the bench, and Drew Eubanks played key minutes down the stretch.