SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs put together one of those stifling defensive quarters to pull out a victory Tuesday night over the Atlanta Hawks, 117-111, and keep the seventh position in the Western Conference standings.
After giving up 90 points through three quarters and watching the Hawks go on a 23-6 run late in the third and into the fourth to go up nine, the Spurs winged them.
San Antonio only allowed the Hawks to score 21 points in the fourth quarter on 8 of 24 shooting.
"Yeah, that was huge, especially to get back in the game. We needed those stops and buckle down when we needed to," said Derrick White, who was a catalyst in the quarter.
Derrick White postgame reaction to tonight’s Spurs win over Hawks...says he just had to stay confident despite recent slump...dropped 23 pts with 4 rebs. #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/cmhWOkV1Sv — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 3, 2019
White was all over the court, picking up his defense and then scoring 11 of his 23 in the final 5:23 of the fourth.
He started his run with a 3-pointer, added several running layups, a short jumper and ended the night with a 19-footer to get the Spurs an eight-point lead and put the game out of reach with 37 seconds left.
"Derrick White was fantastic and really took the game over for us. That was great because L.A. (LaMarcus Aldridge) and DeMar (DeRozan) can't do it every night. Everybody else has to contribute and Derrick was fantastic," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Quick Popovich reaction after #Spurs beat Hawks tonight...credits Derrick White and defense...’stops win basketball games’...also jokes about Belinelli’s wild shots. #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA pic.twitter.com/73fdRDueet — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 3, 2019
"I just try to make the right play out there. They were focusing a lot on DeMar, he had a big game, so I had to step up when the opportunity was there," White said.
DeRozan did have a big game. He finished the night with 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists before he fouled out late in the fourth quarter. He was not surprised by what White did in the fourth.
📹DeMar DeRozan postgame...talks Derrick White and his big fourth quarter...D-White getting through his recent slump...and growing up watching and playing against Vince Carter as VC's career winds down...#KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/bB2rVdankb — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 3, 2019
"I'm not, not at all," said DeRozan. "He had a couple of games where he struggled but sometimes you have to embrace the struggle to understand how to get out of it and what you need to to get back to yourself."
The Spurs need to get the fourth quarter defensive mentality back and not struggle if they are going to be successful on the upcoming three-game road trip that starts Wednesday night in Denver.
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