Austin Spurs finish season strong over Texas Legends

Steve Helwick

After a near-late collapse in last night’s contest, the Austin Spurs entered the final game of their regular season with the demeanor of finishing strong. In a 104-84 victory over the Texas Legends on Saturday, Austin didn’t simply win. They pulverized the Legends, keeping their foot on the gas the entire 48 minutes.

Besides a 2-0 deficit to start the game, the Spurs led for the entirety of the contest. The team was relentless on offense, continuing to rewrite the “largest lead of the game” statistic throughout the contest. This number increased boundlessly during the bulk of the game, growing to as large as 30 points with 2:27 remaining in the game.

“The guys were pretty focused,” head coach Ken McDonald said. “Our second unit is giving us a lot of juice, and it’s their job to come in with energy. There’s been a lot of cheering for each other going into this stretch.”

The camaraderie that has developed between McDonald’s unit led to great team chemistry Saturday night. The scoring distribution was uniform, with four Spurs scoring double-digits and no player topping the 20-point mark.

Deshaun Thomas led the way with 19 points, Brandon Fields added 18, and Edy Tavares finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Tavares, on assignment from the Atlanta Hawks, provides the team with NBA experience going into the D-League Playoffs.

“I’ve learned to come here and play with the Spurs,” said Tavares, a 7-foot-3-inch center from Cabo Verde. “It’s good experience. I’m happy to be here.”

The Spurs finished the season strong on a four-game winning streak. The offense was in rhythm from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Austin’s offensive attack was initially from long-range, connecting on six three-pointers in the first quarter. They extended the lead by altering their attack to the low post, finishing with 40 points in the paint.

Despite a phenomenal performance to finish the season, the Austin Spurs record now sits at 0–0, signifying the new playoff season has arrived. Austin has strung together a series of wins to close the series and hopes to continue that success in the playoffs.

“We’re going to have to play transition defense, and lot of that is us taking care of the ball and the right shot selection,” McDonald said regarding adjustments going forward in the postseason. “It’s about matchups and taking it to another level in the playoffs.”

The Spurs will open the playoffs against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, an opponent they went 1–5 against this season. The best-of-three series will begin on the road for McDonald’s team before reverting to the Cedar Park Center for game 2.

“How you’re playing going into the playoffs is important, and we’re playing well right now,” McDonald said.