San Antonio Spurs

DeMar DeRozan putting up big numbers as San Antonio's playoff fight heats up

A player of interest prior to the trade deadline, DeMar DeRozan looks set to remain with the San Antonio Spurs for the run to the playoffs.

The veteran guard dropped 36 points in San Antonio's 134-129 2OT loss to Atlanta on Friday, including a trademark jumper in the lane with 2.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game to a first overtime.

The big night from DeRozan wasn't enough, with the Spurs finding themselves holding on to the eight seed in the West, two games ahead of Golden State. The double-overtime game could hardly have come at a worse time for the Spurs, who were playing their sixth game in nine nights.

At 20.9 points per game on the season, DeRozan is on track to average 20+ for the eighth straight season, with the four-time All-Star proving he still has plenty left in the tank.

In fact, the 31-year-old is one of only eight players league-wide to be averaging 20+ points, 7+ assists and a steal per game. The other players in the group are Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, James Harden, Luka Doncic, Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook and De'Aaron Fox.

While the Spurs agreed to part ways with veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, DeRozan remains an integral part of the Spurs guard rotation that consists of a number of talented young players.

On this night, DeRozan's performance was overshadowed by 28 points and 12 assists for Trae Young, with the veteran paying respects to the star guard. "He's tough. Talented. Crafty. Very talented. You got to give him credit. He started out very slow, but he picked it up when his team need it most. Hit some big shots. Got to shake his hand, give him credit. Hell of a player." DeRozan said, before praising the fight of his squad. "We're never going to stop fighting as long as there is time on the clock."

Missing the postseason in 2020 after six consecutive appearances in Toronto and then San Antonio, DeRozan and the Spurs are going to need every bit of that fight as the prospect of a potential play-in tournament showdown looms large.

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