Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 11:15 PM
By RAUL DOMINGUEZ - Associated Press
DeRozan, Spurs escape Warriors in overtime, 117-113
SAN ANTONIO (AP) The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are experiencing a level of mediocrity unseen in the tenures of their veteran coaches. Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr aren't letting their teams throw in the towel.
That was abundantly clear as they battled into overtime.
DeMar DeRozan had 24 points and the San Antonio Spurs escaped with a 117-113 overtime victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
San Antonio improved to 4-1 in overtime this season. Four of those games have come at home.
''It's more so familiar territory now,'' DeRozan said. ''So, we've got out there and grind it out.''
Dejounte Murray scored seven of his 15 points in overtime, as San Antonio (14-18) won for the eighth time in 13 games to finish the year below .500 for the first time since 1996.
''We're just trying to stay in the moment,'' Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. ''Watch film and see the things that we need to keep doing better and focus on them and just build from there.''
Golden State lost its second straight after a season-high four-game winning streak.
The Warriors - already without stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson long-term - were without starters D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein.
At 9-26, Golden State has already lost more games than in any of its previous five seasons under Kerr. The Warriors won 436 games and three championships in Kerr's first five seasons.
''The first five years were exceptional, they weren't normal,'' Kerr said. ''So, I try to look at things from a realistic perspective. What's happening this year is more in line with what generally happens to NBA teams.''
Still, Kerr has found a bright spot in helping resurrect the careers of Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks and Marquis Criss.
Burks had 28 points and Robinson added 25, including 15 in the first quarter.
Draymond Green had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 36 minutes.
''We're having a productive season; we're just not having a winning season,'' Kerr said. ''I've enjoyed coaching this team, I just told them that. I enjoy coming in every day and working with these guys because they play hard, they play for each other and they care about that game. So, I'm not too concerned about the record.''
The teams traded the lead four times and were tied twice in the final 3 minutes of regulation.
DeRozan's 17-footer with 17.1 seconds left gave San Antonio a 100-98 lead, but Robinson tied it eight seconds later with a 21-footer set up by Green's shovel pass. Aldridge missed a 15-footer at the close of regulation.
Aldridge added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Patty Mills had 18 points.
Murray was 3 for 3 from the field in overtime, including a 3-pointer, and had a steal and an assist.
''He came through big, but I always expect Dejounte to come up big for us,'' Spurs guard Bryn Forbes said.
Golden State grabbed a 51-42 lead in the second quarter as San Antonio went scoreless for three minutes. Aldridge ended the drought with an off-balance, fadeaway 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.
The Warriors were 12 for 27 on 3-pointers, including consecutive 3s to open the second half and stretch their advantage to 61-53 in the third quarter.
Warriors: Kerr said Russell, who injured his right shoulder in a collision with Dallas' Luca Doncic on Saturday, will be evaluated Wednesday. ... Golden State started its 16th different lineup in 35 games this season. ... The Warriors have had 99 players appear in at last one game since Jan. 1, 2010. ... Kerr clarified the status of Cauley-Stein, who was listed as ''doubtful'' due to an undisclosed illness. ''Willie is not in San Antonio, so he's beyond doubtful,'' Kerr joked.
Spurs: Popovich and the Spurs closed the decade with 554 victories, the most by any coach and franchise in the league. Oklahoma City was second with 514 wins and Golden State third with 505. Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who previously coached in Boston, is second to Popovich with 493 victories.
Warriors: At Minnesota on Thursday night.
Spurs: Host Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
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