SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs on Sunday faced off against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, falling 111-97 at home to remain winless in the 2022 preseason.
Williamson, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Duke, scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds in 24 minutes. Troy Murphy was 10 of 15 from the field and hit seven three-pointers to pace the way for the division foe Pelicans, scoring a game-high 27 points.
The Spurs in the loss were led by its veterans, with Doug McDermott scoring 14 points, Josh Richardson scoring 12 points and center Gorgui Dieng having a near double-double of 10 points and nine boards. Rookie Jeremy Sochan got his first start, grabbing four rebounds and a steal in 18 minutes, but didn’t score. The other rookie guards, Malaki Brenham and Blake Wesley, also combined for just 11 points.
The team will next try for its first preseason win on Tuesday in Utah versus the Jazz. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Team makes trip to Uvalde for special visit
The San Antonio Spurs paid a special visit on Saturday to play some hoops and bring joy to the Uvalde community, one that is still in the midst of healing from the Robb Elementary tragedy.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, the team and the Coyote mascot all joined Uvalde CISD elementary school students and their families at the gym at Uvalde High School to “show the residents that their pain has not been forgotten,” the team said.
Students were welcome on the court, where they learned some basketball moves firsthand from the Spurs players.
“We know it’s been tough, but you know if we can just come out here and bring a little bit of joy then today is a successful day for us,” forward Keldon Johnson said.
After the practice, the students and their families were invited to a community fair in the courtyard outside to enjoy games, food, prizes and more.
Hall of Famer Manu Ginóbili made an appearance and carried victim Eliahna Torres with him, as he greeted fans. Each of the 21 victims were also remembered. The team then hosted 1,000 of the Uvalde residents as special guests at the AT&T Center for Sunday’s game.
Spurs release player; announce injury update
The San Antonio Spurs on Monday announced that they have released rookie guard Tommy Kuhse, according to a press release.
Kuhse, a first-year player out of St. Mary’s (Calif.) has appeared in two preseason games, averaging 6.0 points and 1.5 assists in 9.0 minutes per game.
The Spurs roster now stands at 19 players.
Spurs center Zach Collins has officially entered the NBA’s Concussion Protocol, following last night’s Spurs-Pelicans game.
Collins will not travel to Utah for tomorrow’s Spurs-Jazz game. The team said it will provide updates on a return, but did not disclose a timetable.
Spurs exercise team option on Devin Vassell and Josh Primo
On Monday, the San Antonio Spurs announced their fourth-year team option on guards Devin Vassell and Josh Primo for the 2023 to 2024 season, according to a release from the San Antonio Spurs.
Vassell, who is entering his third year with the team, has appeared in 133 games for the Silver and Black since being selected by the Spurs in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. He appeared in 71 games last season and averaged 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes. Additionally, in the 2021 to 22 season, Vassell became the first Spur in franchise history to make more than 100 three-pointers in his sophomore season and is now one of three Spurs to record 1,000 points, 125 threes, and 100 steals in their first two seasons.
Primo will begin his sophomore season after appearing in 50 games for San Antonio last year and averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes, according to the release. He made his NBA debut vs. Orlando on Oct. 20, 2021. His 18 total starts are the most by a Spurs rookie since 2011 to 2012. Primo also spent time with the Austin Spurs and averaged 16.6 points, a team-high 5.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 19 games after being selected by San Antonio as the 12th overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.