The San Antonio Spurs cannot afford to lose any of their remaining games in the regular season if they want to squeeze into the play-in tournament. On Sunday night, they scored a critical win over the Portland Trail Blazers to erect a two-win lead over the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost to the Denver Nuggets, for the no. 10 spot in the Western Conference.
The Spurs blasted the Trail Blazers, 113-92, with fast-rising forward Keldon Johnson leading the way with 28 points, including 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. While it's important to keep an eye on the Lakers' final assignments, Johnson said they're more focused on their own backyard, per the report of ESPN.
“If we don't win, it's different. As long as we just take care of business and not really focus on anybody else, just focus on ourselves each and every game, we'll be fine.”
The Spurs have now won six of their last seven games to strengthen their odds of entering the play-in tournament. The team managed to do so last season but lost to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs were a perennial contender for years but the roster is still in the process of a rebuild, with the upstart core of Johnson, Dejounte Murray, and Devin Vassell holding the fort. Advancing to the play-in tournament will only bode well for the young Spurs.
The Spurs, however, have a tough schedule to close out the campaign, with games against the Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Mavericks.