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Spurs’ Rudy Gay defends DeMar DeRozan after benching vs. Rockets

DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Spurs

Monday was a tough day for the San Antonio Spurs and DeMar DeRozan.

The Spurs blew a 25-point lead to the Houston Rockets and DeRozan didn’t play the final five minutes of play, which the All-Star guard said was “tough to take.”

DeRozan has been catching some heat on social media for looking disengaged on the bench, but one of his closest friends in the world, Spurs forward Rudy Gay, is coming to his defense:

“He’s a competitive guy and he wanted to be out there and you can’t fault him for that,” Rudy Gay said after practice, via Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “Coach went in a different direction. No matter what, being a competitor, it’s not like you are looking down at your teammates or anything. He just wanted to be out there. And that’s what you want. It would be a problem if he didn’t want to be out there.”

The Spurs are 10-16 on the season. They are in the 12th spot in the Western Conference standings and have a lot of work to do if they want to make the playoffs for the 23rd straight season.

DeRozan has been the subject of trade rumors since the Spurs are faltering. The high-flyer can become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he declines his 2020-21 player option with San Antonio.

Some believe the Spurs should trade DeRozan and get something in return so they don’t lose him for nothing in free agency.

In 26 games this season, DeRozan is averaging 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He’s shooting 50.1 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the free-throw line.