|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 PM CT23:30 , October 26, 2019
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas Attendance: 18,354
Wizards take aim at road drought at Spurs
The Washington Wizards look for a second road triumph in two days and an end to a 19-year win drought in San Antonio when they visit the Spurs on Saturday night.
The Wizards got 19 points from rookie forward Rui Hachimura and used an impressive defensive effort to limit the Oklahoma City Thunder to 39.8 percent shooting Friday night in a 97-85 road victory.
The short flight into San Antonio not only caps a season-opening, three-game trip for the Wizards, but gives the club an opportunity to do something no previous Washington edition has done this century.
The last time the Wizards won at San Antonio, Mitch Richmond, Rod Strickland and Juwan Howard were in the Washington lineup for a surprising 99-89 victory over the Tim Duncan- and David Robinson-led Spurs on Dec. 11, 1999.
This time around, the Wizards will see a well-rested Spurs team, one that now employs Duncan as an assistant coach. San Antonio opened its season with a 120-111 home victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
Dejounte Murray was the big story in the opening win, contributing 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals in his first game since ACL surgery ended his 2019 season even before it started.
Murray and his mates nonetheless got an earful from coach Gregg Popovich after the game, with the veteran coach quick to point out the club's 21 turnovers, of which Murray had four.
"We don't want to do that," Murray assured reporters afterward. "It was like me and Tim (Duncan were saying): A team that turns the ball over that much, you pretty much lose the game. We got a lot to work on."
The Spurs won by shooting 50.6 percent. Murray hit seven of his 10 shots.
The Washington backcourt did a number on Oklahoma City point guards Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder in Friday's win, harassing them into 7-for-23 shooting and seven turnovers.
It was quite a change from the Wizards' opener at Dallas, when the Mavericks used 46.1 percent shooting as the foundation for their 108-100 win.
Washington is playing this season without star point guard John Wall (torn Achilles), and has opened the year without the man expected to be his replacement, veteran Isaiah Thomas (torn thumb ligaments).
Thomas, signed as a free agent over the summer after ending last season with Denver, is with the team on its three-game trip, and technically is a game-time decision for the San Antonio game.
Most likely, he will be held out until Wednesday's home opener against Houston.
"It takes time for it to heal," Wizards coach Scott Brooks warned reporters after watching Thomas go through a pain-free workout on the trip. "He has the toughness, and he has that chip on his shoulder, but we're going to do what's best for him, and we're going to take that toughness out of the equation. It takes time to heal, and it has."
The Spurs won both head-to-heads with the Wizards last season, averaging 130.5 points and a 15.0-point margin of victory.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 26, 2019