SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 131-119 to open the regular season in impressive fashion.
San Antonio had seven players in double figures led by DeMar DeRozan’s 28 points. Dejounte Murray scored 21 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20. San Antonio next hosts the Raptors on Dec. 26 at the AT&T Center.
The Race For Seis is back on as the Spurs tip-off a new regular season.
San Antonio is opening the 2020-21 season Wednesday night on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Fans will not be allowed inside the FedEx Forum due to an increase in Coronavirus cases.
The Spurs, like the rest of the NBA, are dealing with a quick turnaround.
The last time the Spurs played Memphis was in the Orlando Bubble in August.
San Antonio beat Memphis 108-106, but it wasn’t enough to keep their 22-year playoff streak alive. Memphis advanced to the play-in playoffs game in the Western Conference.
This is a whole new season. There is no more NBA bubble for the teams.
Memphis is expected to contend for a playoffs spot with the rise of star guard Ja Morant. But they will be without Jaren Jackson to start the season.
The Spurs will also look a little different with the return of LaMarcus Aldridge to the lineup. Aldridge missed the bubble experience while he recovered from shoulder surgery.
The Spurs young core played well in the bubble, but will now have to incorporate Aldridge.
Head coach Gregg Popovich has said they want to continue the up-tempo style of play from Orlando.
DeMar DeRozan opted to stay with the Spurs for another year. He will be ready for game one, however, the Spurs will be without Derrick White who is still recovering from toe surgery.
White just signed a four year contract extension so he will be missed to start the season, but is expected to once again be a key contributor when he returns. White averaged nearly 19 points per game in the bubble.
It would be advantageous for the Spurs to get off to a fast start since they have a tough schedule to start the season. They play the defending champion Lakers three times in the first eight games. They also play the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors early in the season.
Throw in back-to-back games with the Rockets and several other playoff teams, and the first half of the season will be coming at San Antonio fast and furious.
The Spurs first home game against Toronto will be held on Dec. 26. The Spurs hope to have fans at a limited capacity when they host the Lakers on Jan. 1.