Vassell, Johnson spoil Murray’s return as Spurs top Hawks

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, hugs Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) before an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Sunday, March 19, 2023. Murray is a former Spurs player. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell had 29 points each and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 24-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Hawks 126-118 on Sunday, spoiling Dejounte Murray’s homecoming.

Murray had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds in his first game in San Antonio since being traded to Atlanta in the offseason.

Zach Collins added 19 points for the Spurs, who snapped a two-game skid.

Onyeka Okongwu had 17 points and Clint Capela had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks.

San Antonio reversed their woes after blowing double-digit leads in consecutive overtimes losses at home, including a 29-point lead in the third quarter Friday before falling 126-120 to Memphis.

After trailing the Hawks by 24 points in the third quarter, Blake Wesley’s layup gave the Spurs a 115-114 lead with 3:47 remaining in the game.

Johnson sparked a 14-4 run with back-to-back 3-pointers that cut the Hawks’ lead to 95-93 with 3:38 remaining in third quarter.

San Antonio was 8 for 12 on 3-pointers in the third quarter to cut Atlanta’s lead to 103-101 entering the fourth. The Spurs held the Hawks to 20 points in the third while outscoring them by 19 in the quarter.

Murray got off to a fast start in his return with six points, two assists and a rebound in the opening six minutes of the game.

Murray’s 16-foot jumper gave the Hawks a 75-57 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half. It was the start of a 10-4 run to close the half that gave Atlanta a 22-point lead.


Hawks: Murray received a warm reception after the team honored their former point guard with a video highlighting his six seasons with the Spurs. … Atlanta had won three straight in San Antonio. The Hawks last loss in San Antonio was 117-111 on April 2, 2019.

Spurs: Rookie F Jeremy Sochan missed the game after aggravating a sore right knee in the first quarter of Friday’s game against Memphis. … F Keita Bates-Diop played 12 minutes but did not score after being listed as questionable with a sore left Achilles. … F Doug McDermott missed his second consecutive game with a bruised right hip.