08.10.20 - 08.14.20
August 18, 2020
By Al Ortiz
The streak is over. After 22 straight postseason appearances, the San Antonio Spurs will not be playing in the NBA playoffs. The Spurs needed a win on Thursday, and some help from some other teams, to make the tournament. Before the Spurs even tipped off their game, they were mathematically eliminated - allowing some of the young players to get some developmental playing time. The Spurs lost to the Utah Jazz by a score of 116-112, and were led by rooke Keldon Johnson's 24 points.
The Spurs amazing modern-day NBA playoff streak was nothing short of remarkable, as they racked up five championships, 170 playoff wins, multiple Hall-of-Fame players, and countless memories. The last time the Spurs missed the playoffs was in 1997, when Bill Clinton was president, Kobe Bryant was a 19-year old NBA All-Star, the Emergency Alert System was introduced in the U.S., Princess Diana was still alive, and the Spurs drafted a young kid fresh out of Wake Forest named Tim Duncan. The playoff streak of 22 years was the longest in the NBA before Thursday. Cheers to you, Silver and Black. What a ride it has been!
Some scores, upcoming games and other news updates from around the sports world for you:
- The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday 128-102, with Luka Doncic sitting out the second half. The Mavs are getting ready for their first round matchup against the LA Clippers - with Game 1 taking place on Monday at 8 p.m.
- The Houston Rockets have a matchup on Friday, facing the Philadelphia 76ers at 8 p.m. - however, some Rockets stars may sit this one out, as the team has their own playoff matchup forthcoming - team, date and time to be determined.
- The Houston Astros have a game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday at 8:10 p.m., as the 'Stros look to inch closer to .500. They currently sit on an 8-10 record.
- The Texas Rangers, meanwhile have themselves a matchup with the Colorado Rockies at 7:40 p.m. on Friday, as they are one game from .500 at 8-9.
- Finally, in college football, the Texas Longhorns have announced a revised 2020 schedule, as dates were adjusted for the upcoming season. The Longhorns start their season against UTEP on September 12, then take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on September 26 to start their campaign.
It's getting hairy for the NBA teams at the 11th, 10th, 9th and 8th seeds in the Western Conference - and Thursday's games will help clear up that mess.
One of those teams - the San Antonio Spurs - need a win on Thursday and some help from two teams to make it to the playoffs. In order for the Spurs to make an NBA record 23rd straight trip to the postseason, they must beat the Utah Jazz on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and have two of three teams lose their Thursday matchups. Those teams are the Portland Trail Blazers, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. The Spurs game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.
The Dallas Mavericks are all set to go and already have a spot in the playoffs. Now, they know who they'll face. The Mavs take on the LA Clippers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, facing former Spur and disgraced former Texan Kawhi Leonard. This is the first time ever that the two teams have met in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets, fresh off of their 108-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, learned of their playoff fate, as they'll face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are former Thunder players, but Wesbtrook unfortunately has soreness in his quad, and his status for the beginning of the postseason is unclear.
To the diamond, where the Houston Astros walloped the San Francisco Giants by a score of 5 to 1 on Wednesday, and were helped by Uvalde native Brooks Raley, who pitched 1 and 2/3 innings with two strikeouts. Raley was acquired by the Astros in an August 9th trade with the Cincinnati Reds. Go get 'em Brooks!
Finally, the Texas Rangers ended their series with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night, beating them by a score of 7 to 4. The Rangers have won 5 of their last 6 games heading into their matchup with the Colorado Rockies on Friday at 7:40 p.m. Game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.
There's some good news and bad news - the San Antonio Spurs are one step closer to a possible record 23rd straight playoff appearance. The bad news? They're not getting much help from external parties. The Spurs needed losses from the Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday in order to help get them to the 9th seed, and a play-in game against the 8th seed, but both teams won their games, keeping the Spurs at bay - for now - at the 11th seed. It's a tight race, and the Spurs are not out of it yet - especially with their 123-105 win against interstate rival Houston Rockets on Tuesday. Rookie sensation Keldon Johnson scored a career high of 24 points against a James Harden-less Rockets team, giving them a 5-2 record in the NBA Orlando bubble.
The Dallas Mavericks almost squeaked out a win against the aforementioned Portland Trail Blazers, but ultimately ended up on the wrong side of a close contest. The Mavs lost to the Blazers by a score of 134-131, and are currently the Western Conference's 7th seed.
Some NFL news, with training camps all underway - there are reports, according to ESPN, that the Dallas Cowboys are creating their own bubble before on-field practices start on Friday at the Omni Hotel adjacent to the team's practice facility. According to ESPN Reporter Ed Werder - the Cowboys rookies are already settled into the hotel.
Sit tight, sports fans. We have all the scores from this weekend, and a bit of news developments coming at you! Saddle up!
Starting with the MLB, the Texas Rangers bounced back from a three game losing streak, and magically, just like that, are on a three game winning streak. The Rangers ousted the LA Angels this past weekend, beating them 4-3, 2-0, and 7-3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - respectively.
The Houston Astros, meanwhile, riding a two game losing streak going into the weekend, extended that losing streak to five games, losing all three contests with the Oakland As. The 'Stros lost 3-2 on Friday, 3-1 on Saturday and 7-2 on Sunday. Sunday's contest was a bit heated, as the game was overshadowed by a bench-clearing brawl after Oakland's Ramon Laureano got hit by a pitch from Houston Pitcher Humberto Castellanos. Laureano then charged the first base dugout after some words with Astros Hitting Coach Alex Cintron. Thus began the large street brawl. Fines may be coming from the MLB - more on that when it develops.
To the hardwood and the tall guys who shoot hoops - the San Antonio Spurs won their two weekend contests, quieting the Utah Jazz 119-111 and then shooing away the New Orleans Pelicans 122-113. Spurs Guard Derrick White, who has had a strong showing in the Orlando bubble, left the game early with a knee contusion and is questionable for the next game.
The Houston Rockets continued their strong showing in the bubble, dethroning the Sacramento Kings on Sunday to the tune of a 129-112 game. Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks won their sole game of the weekend, beating the Eastern Conference's top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks 136-132. This was behind Luka Doncic's impressive triple-double of 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds. Wow. The Mavericks next play the Utah Jazz on Monday at 2 p.m.
The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs do battle in a HUGE game for the Spurs on Tuesday at 1 p.m.. The game is already a big one for both longtime rivals, but the Spurs need to win their last two games, and have some help - to extend their playoff streak to an NBA record 23 straight appearances. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest in Uvalde County.