By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
A strong display rewarded Austrian big Jakob Poeltl a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double. He connected in six out of his seven field-goal attempts, also threw in one assist, one steal, and one block over 28 minutes.
Further European contribution with Marco Belinelli banking 13 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal off the bench. Upstart Luka Samanic added a couple of rebounds and one block in five minutes.
Arriving at the Orlando bubble, Gregg Popovich mainly aimed to work on younger members of his squad. He was not expecting the Spurs at 31-38 and still in the playoffs hunt with only one seeding tilt remaining.
Keldon Johnson, 20, registered a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double for the latest “W”. DeMar DeRozan followed on the scoring table with 23 points.
On the potential play-in berth, the Spurs still need to beat the Utah Jazz on Thursday and some help from other teams to avoid their first elimination since 1997.
James Harden was out for the Rockets but Russell Westbrook returned to action with a team-high 20 points. Two more seeding games, against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, follow before their postseason run.
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