Spurs Edged By Bulls 122-116

Chicago Bulls s v San Antonio Spurs

DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls pressures Malaki Branham #22 of the San Antonio Spurs in the first half at Frost Bank Center on January 13, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo: Ronald Cortes / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs came up short to the Chicago Bulls, losing 122-116 on Saturday night. Victor Wembanyama sat of the game to get rest following a game on Friday night. Tre Jones led the Spurs in scoring with 30 points. Keldon Johnson added 26 points. The Spurs are now 7 and 31 on the season and return to action on Monday afternoon in a game against the Hawks in Atlanta.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich: 

(on coming back from an 18-point deficit…)

“We had a better pace offensively. The second half, we executed better changed up some defenses got some turnovers and deflections during that period. Second group was great. We made some shots. Down the stretch, we couldn't get a bucket and had some great open shots that didn't go in. But the competitiveness and turnovers that they caused and the pace coming back was so much better in the second half, so I'm proud of them. They did a really good job under some pretty tough circumstances.”

(on Tre Jones career high tonight…)

“Well, obviously, that's very good, He had a hell of a night. He was super.”

(on the growth of the team…)

“This is the fifth game in a row where they played like this and played well enough to win a game. Starting with Milwaukee and Cleveland, the two wins [and] tonight. They're showing more consistency. Down the stretch, experienced guys probably feel a little bit more comfortable shooting those threes. We had the same ones, eventually they'll fall.” 

Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On how he felt about the game…)

“We fought the entire night. We went down 16 or whatever it was there. The bench group came up big for us, tied and took the lead. They were playing great defense and led the offense. But yeah, we continue to fight. We were hitting shots, they hit tough shots. It was a back-and-forth game. Just didn't hit enough down the stretch and they did. But like you said, with the guys we had out tonight, it's it was a good showing for us to battle the way we did. Especially against a team like them that's been playing well recently.”

(On Blake Wesley…)

“That's Blake for you. He's always bringing that energy whenever he gets his name and number called. He comes in ready to play. No matter if it's 20 minutes or two minutes. He's going to bring that energy. He's going to be a spark for us whenever he's out there. He's a pest defensively. Offensively, he slashes in there. He's making big-time plays like he did tonight, and that's just who Blake is. He's in a kind of difficult position with the roster that we have right now and not knowing how much he'll play or if he'll even play. Just trying to tell him to stay ready and be patient. He's doing a great job. He's a professional. He comes in every day ready to work. He's getting the extra work and he's working on all the things that he needs to work on and continuing to work on the things that he's already good at. Just trying to help him out as much as I can. Try and just keep him positive and keep his spirits up in this time that he could be getting more minutes, but he might not necessarily be getting those right now. But when he gets his name called, he's been ready and gives us a huge part.”

(On his career-high 30 points…)

“Shots were open, and I took them and made them. It wasn't anything specific. They're playing off of me a lot and obviously know that I like to pass and get my teammates involved. So, I'm just trying to take my shot when it was there. Make them respect it. Play out of that, which I was feeling good and going in. So, that's always a good feeling. I think as a team we played really well, and it just sucks not to get that win.’ 

Spurs Forward Keldon Johnson

(on the second half…)

“We boxed out, we got rebounds. I know down the stretch, Vucevic got two big rebounds. We took care of the glass in the second half. We were a lot more active. We just challenged ourselves, to be honest, to have some pride, step up and we made it a game. Obviously, we were right there. We hit some shots, we had some great shots that were wide open and they didn't fall. They usually fall but, that's how the game goes. Some nights you hit those shots and some nights you miss those shots. It was one of those nights where down the stretch we had some great looks, and we missed those shots. I think the shots that we miss, if I could do all over again, I would definitely put me and my teammates in those same situations to hit those shots, because those are shots that we usually make. So, I think we continue to stay positive. We're going to go over some film tomorrow and make some corrections and get ready for a game in Atlanta. I definitely we left it all out there tonight”.

(on his 3-point shooting…)

“I feel like I've been working on it since I came into the league. It's always been something that when I first came in that I wasn't known for. The past few years it's been up and down, so to see it going in tonight was a great feeling“.

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